Indian shares end flat ahead of U.S. jobs report

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A man walks out of the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai, India,

By Sethuraman N R

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended mostly unchanged on Friday, after a choppy trading session, ahead of a critical U.S. jobs data that would provide clues on the Federal Reserve's future rate hike strategy.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed down 0.02% at 17,539.45, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.06% to 58,803.33. For the week, the indexes ended marginally lower.

"Markets are technically in an overbought territory. Headlines over China-Taiwan will keep markets under pressure and U.S. jobs data will be crucial to watch out for," said Prashanth Tapse - research analyst, senior VP (research), Mehta Equities Ltd.

Analysts expect that 285,000 U.S. jobs were added last month, while unemployment hovered at 3.5%. Investors may not like a strong number if it supports the basis for sustained aggressive rate hikes by the U.S. central bank.

"Domestically, data remains strong. We will see inflation cooling down, with crude prices below $90 a barrel, and that will help the markets to stabilise," Tapse said.

Despite a volatile week, foreign investor inflows sustained. This week saw inflows of $776.86 million as of Thursday, with $534.34 million being pumped in on that trading session alone.

Shares of Adani Enterprises, flagship company of Indian coal-to-edible-oils conglomerate Adani Group, hit a record high after its inclusion into the benchmark Nifty 50 index.

Shree Cement fell 2.3% and was one of the top drags on Nifty 50 after the National Stock Exchange (NSE) said the stock will be removed from the blue-chip index, effective Sept. 30.

The success of the Reserve Bank of India's interest rate hikes to control inflation is not yet clear, and the pace of rate adjustment will depend on state of the economy, J.R. Varma, member of the monetary policy committee, said on Friday.

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru;Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Uttaresh.V)