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Market Commentary 15 March 2021
Markets likely to get optimistic start amid positive global cues


Indian equity benchmarks began with gains on Friday but erased all gains as the day neared the closing bell, on the back of a broad-based selling pressure. The benchmarks staged a gap up opening mirroring gains in other Asian markets. Sentiments got a boost with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry report showing that as economic activities gather pace and investor sentiments revive, GDP growth is likely to enter a double-digit growth trajectory and may grow at more than 11 per cent in the next financial year. Some support also came in with Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan's statement that the country's exports are steadily recovering and it is expected to record a healthy growth rate in March. Sentiments remained upbeat as the Centre said the acceleration in delivering COVID-19 vaccine shots has been achieved in collaboration with the private sector which administered more than 23 per cent of the doses. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said 71.23 percent of coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered in government hospitals, while 28.77 percent of these doses have been contributed by private facilities. However, due to profit taking at higher levels, benchmarks nosedived in afternoon trading. Sentiment turned pessimistic with SBI report stating that India's combined federal and states' budget gap in the current fiscal year will reach 12.7% on increased healthcare spending and a collapse in revenue amid the pandemic. Some concern also came with the private report that number of industrial investment proposals touched a record low in 2020, the pandemic year. And in value terms they were at a three year low as economic activity came to a standstill during the prolonged lockdown in the quarter ended June. Investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the industrial production data for January and CPI inflation data for February that are slated to be released later in the day.  Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 487.43 points or 0.95% to 50,792.08, while the CNX Nifty was down by 143.85 points or 0.95% to 15,030.95.


The US markets ended mostly higher on Friday as traders expressed optimism about the economy reopening after President Joe Biden directed states to make all adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine by May 1st. The vaccine news combined with the new $1.9 trillion stimulus package led to hopes for a return to normalcy after a year of the coronavirus pandemic. Adding to the positive sentiment, the University of Michigan released a report showing US consumer sentiment improved by much more than expected in the month of March. The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index jumped to 83.0 in March after dipping to 76.8 in February. Street had expected the index to inch up to 78.5. With the much bigger than expected increase, the consumer sentiment index reached its highest level since hitting 89.1 in March of 2020. Meanwhile, the economic optimism also led to a spike in treasury yields, with the ten-year yield surging above 1.6 percent to reach its highest levels in a year. The jump in yields weighed on technology stocks, resulting in the pullback by the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Commercial real estate, utilities and telecom stocks also moved notably higher, while weakness among semiconductor and software stocks weighed on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision is likely to be in the spotlight next week, with traders looking for the central bank to address the recent spike in bond yields. Traders are also likely to keep an eye on reports on retail sales, industrial production, housing starts, and regional manufacturing activity.


Crude oil futures ended lower on Friday following the strong upward move seen in the previous session. The choppy trading on the day came as traders remained optimistic about the outlook for energy demand but seemed reluctant to continue pushing oil prices higher. A jump by US treasury yields may have kept buying interest somewhat subdued, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note surging back above 1.6 percent to its highest levels in over a year. The increase in yields came after President Joe Biden directed states to make all adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine by May 1st. Crude oil futures for April slipped $0.41 or about 0.62 percent to settle at $65.61 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude fell $0.24 or 0.35 percent to settle at $69.22 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Rupee ended significantly higher against dollar on fresh selling of dollar by bankers and exporters on Friday, even as domestic equity market ended with significant losses. Traders were energized as Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan stated that India's exports are steadily recovering and it is expected to record a healthy growth rate in March. He also said the country's merchandise exports were impacted on account of the COVID pandemic. Adding more optimism, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in its latest report has showed that India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is likely to enter a double-digit growth trajectory and may grow at more than 11 per cent in the next financial year, as economic activities gather pace and investor sentiments revive. On the global front, dollar rose on Friday, recovering its losses from the day before, as a spike in Treasury yields early in the European session triggered a risk-off move in global currency markets, with riskier currencies taking a hit. Finally, the rupee ended at 72.79, stronger by 12 paise from its previous close of 72.91 on Wednesday.


The FIIs as per Friday's data were net buyer in equity segment, while net seller in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 7169.19 crore against gross selling of Rs 6491.31 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 549.45 crore with gross sales of Rs 1025.52 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 11.52 crore against gross selling of Rs 28.72 crore.


The US markets ended mostly higher on Friday as investors bought shares that should benefit from a strong reopening of the US economy, an outlook signaled by rising yields in the bond market. Asian markets are trading mostly in green on Monday as investors bet U.S. economic growth will accelerate after the passing of a massive stimulus package. Indian markets ended almost one percent lower Friday dragged by heavy selling across the board. Today, the markets are likely to make optimistic start following positive global cues. Traders will be taking encouragement with Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur stating that there are green shoots visible in various sectors of the economy and the country is already looking at a V-shaped recovery. Some support will come as RBI data showed that bank credit grew 6.36 per cent to Rs 106.41 trillion, while deposits increased by 11.41 per cent to Rs 146.25 trillion in the fortnight ended January 15. However, disappointing macro-economic data may dampen sentiments in the markets. The government data showed that India's retail inflation rose to 5.03 per cent in February, mainly on account of higher food prices. The consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation was 4.06 per cent in January 2021 and was 6.58 per cent in February 2020. According to the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted 1.6 per cent for January 2021. Besides, the WPI inflation is scheduled to be released later in the day. There may be some cautiousness as foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 7,013 crore so far this month in the Indian markets on profit-booking as jitters in global bond markets spooked investors. As per depositories data, FPIs pulled out Rs 531 crore from equities and Rs 6,482 crore from the debt segment between Mar 1-13. Also, India reported 26,514 fresh Covid-19 cases on Friday pushing the overall tally to 11,385,158, according to Worldometer. The death toll from the deadly infection jumped to 158,762. India ranks 11th among worst-hit nations by active cases. Banking operations across the country could be impacted as the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has given a call for a nationwide strike to protest against the proposed privatisation of two state-owned lenders. Auto stocks will be in focus as India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) revised the outlook for the auto sector to improving for financial year 2022 from negative, backed by likely revival across segments, positive consumer sentiments amid macroeconomic tailwinds after recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Craftsman Automation and Laxmi Organics Industries will launch their IPOs today. MTAR Technologies' shares will get listed on the exchanges today.


Support and Resistance: NSE (Nifty) and BSE (Sensex)



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  • Infosys's business process management arm -- Infosys BPM has extended strategic collaboration with Newmont Corporation to standardize and digitize delivery models across its mine sites. 
  • SBI is planning to conduct e-auctions of 12 bad accounts this month to recover dues of over Rs 506 crore under sale to asset reconstruction company mechanism. 
  • Tata Motors has unveiled its newest range of intermediate and light commercial trucks, the Ultra Sleek T-Series, designed and engineered to suit contemporary demands of urban transportation. 
  • Coal India's grade slippage during the third quarter of the financial year was down to 34 percent compared to 41 percent during the same period last year.
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