BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares are set for a muted start on Friday, hovering just below the all-time highs hit in the previous session on renewed expectations that U.S. interest rate cuts are imminent.

The GIFT Nifty was trading at 23,416 as of 08:06 a.m. IST, indicating that the benchmark Nifty 50 will open near its close of 23,398.90 on Thursday.

The Nifty has gained about 0.5% so far this week, hitting record highs in three of four sessions and building on the 3.4% jump last week after the results of the national elections ensured political continuity.

"The northward trend continues as the benchmark index continues to mark fresh record highs, albeit with small increments," said Rajesh Bhosale, equity analyst at Angel One.

"Intraday momentum has been lacking (and) traders are not particularly interested in the index moves, focusing instead on broader markets, which remain active."

Bhosale said that after last week's upsurge, the Nifty could have entered a time-wise correction phase, which is when an index corrects with marginal moves over a longer period, rather than bigger daily moves.

Asian peers were also muted on the day, with the MSCI ex-Japan opening 0.19% lower, ahead of Bank of Japan's policy meeting.

Both foreign and domestic investors were sellers on Thursday, offloading stocks worth 30.33 billion rupees ($363 million) and 5.54 billion rupees, respectively, exchange data showed.

Stocks to watch:

L&T Finance: PE firm Bain Capital sold its entire stake in the company.

Ambuja Cement: Approves the acquisition of smaller rival Penna Cement for an enterprise value of 104.22 billion rupees. ($1 = 83.5510 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Kashish Tandon in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)