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NSE Intra-day chart (20 May 2021)
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Market Commentary 21 May 2021
Markets likely to get optimistic start amid firm global cues


Indian equity benchmarks turned sharply lower during the fag-end of the session, after staying flat for better part of the day and ended Thursday's session with losses of over half percent, dragged by losses in index majors ONGC, Sun Pharma and Power Grid Corporation amid weak global cues. Benchmarks declined for second straight session with the S&P BSE Sensex fell as much as 337 points and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 14,950. After making slightly positive start, key gauges turned negative and stayed in red for whole day, as traders got anxious with ratings agency ICRA's statement that sequential growth slackening driven by the second wave of Covid-19 in India has emerged as a concern. ICRA also cautioned that bruised sentiment, high healthcare and fuel expenses will limit discretionary purchases in the immediate term. Some cautiousness came in as India witnessed 276,261 fresh cases, with the new infection count remaining below the 300,000-mark for the fourth consecutive day. Markets extended losses in late afternoon session, amid a private report stating that almost 80 per cent of all income losses during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 were incurred by the private sector in India, while in many other countries the entire loss was on respective governments. However, losses remain capped as traders found some support with Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh L Mandaviya's statement that the government is monitoring the supply of various essential drugs used in the treatment of COVID-19. The minister noted that all drugs used in the management of COVID-19 were now available in India by ramping up production and increasing the imports. Meanwhile, Income Tax Department is expected to launch a new e-filing web portal for taxpayers, which they use to file routine ITRs and perform other tax-related works, early next month. Finally, the BSE Sensex lost 337.78 points or 0.68% to 49,564.86, while the CNX Nifty was down by 124.10 points or 0.83% to 14,906.05.


The US markets ended higher on Thursday buoyed by data showing a drop in jobless claims last week. Further, Technology stocks posted strong gains, contributing significantly to market's strong close. Besides, Bitcoin's rebound after a terrible setback in the previous session aided sentiment. A few encouraging earnings announcements helped as well.  Data released by the Labor Department showed unemployment claims in the US dropped by slightly more than expected in the week ending May 15th. The data showed that initial unemployment claims in the US fell to 444,000 last week, down from a revised 478,000 claims in the previous week. Street had expected unemployment claims to drop to around 450,000 in the week ending May 15th. The much bigger than expected decrease in jobless claims makes the number the lowest since the week ended March 14, when it had dropped to 256,000. The Labor Department's data also showed that the number of continuing claims unexpectedly rose by 111,000 last week to 3.75 million, hitting a seven-week high. The four-week moving average of US jobless claims, which removes week-to-week volatility, dropped to a fourteen-month low of 504,750 in the week, down from a revised 535,250 in the previous week. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index fell to 31.5 in May from 50.2 in April which was the strongest reading in nearly 50 years. Figures also came below forecasts of 43. The index of business conditions fell sharply to 52.7 in April, from 66.6.


Crude oil futures ended lower for third straight day on Thursday as signs of progress in Iran nuclear talks raised expectations that global crude supply will see a surge in the near term. Iran's president Hassan Rouhani said the broad outline of a deal to end sanctions on its oil had been reached. According to private report, Rouhani said that all parties to the talks have agreed to lift all major sanctions on oil, petrochemicals, shipping, insurance, the central bank and so on. However, worries about outlook for energy demand due to the surge in coronavirus cases in Asian countries and possible stricter restrictions on movements in several places in Asia weighed on oil prices. Crude oil futures for June fell $1.31 or about 2.1 percent to settle at $62.05 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. July Brent crude dropped $1.55 or 2.3 percent to settle at $65.11 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange


Indian rupee ended higher against dollar on Thursday, on persistent selling of the American currency by exporters. Some support came in as government is aiming to conclude privatisation of PSUs - where the divestment process has already started - this fiscal. The Budget for 2021-22 has set a disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore, higher than Rs 32,835 crore garnered in the last fiscal. However, upside remained capped as ICRA in its latest report has said that uptick in headline numbers of key economic indicators in April is due to the base effect and that the economy is headed into rough patch as consumer sentiment is down in the dumps due to the second wave of the pandemic. On the global front, dollar edged lower on Thursday but remained well above three-month lows hit overnight after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting revealed there was more talk of tapering its bond purchases than investors had expected. Finally, the rupee ended 73.12, stronger by 6 paise from its previous close of 73.18 on Wednesday.


The FIIs as per Thursday's data were net buyer in both equity and debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 9235.20 crore against gross selling of Rs 6702.31 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1451.64 crore with gross sales of Rs 1072.57 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 14.10 crore against gross selling of Rs 78.97 crore.


The US markets ended higher on Thursday buoyed by gains in technology stocks as the smallest weekly jobless claims since the start of a pandemic-driven recession lifted the mood. Asian markets are trading mostly in green on Friday following an overnight bounce on Wall Street. Indian markets ended nearly a percent lower on Thursday dragged mainly by metals and banking stocks, as losses in Asian peers also weighed on the sentiment. Today, the markets are likely to start the last trading session of this week on a firm note, on the back of favourable global cues. Dip in daily Covid cases is likely to support market sentiment. The new infection count remained below the 300,000-mark for the fifth consecutive day in India as it witnessed a spike of 259,269 fresh coronavirus cases. Some support will come as the Ministry of External Affairs said India is engaged with American entities for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines from the US and their possible manufacturing in the country subsequently. Hit by a devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, India has been focusing on ramping up domestic production of COVID-19 vaccines as well their procurement from abroad. Traders may take note of report that the International Monetary Fund stands ready to strengthen its dialogue and scale-up its technical collaboration with India, observing that the human tragedy is a stark reminder that the pandemic continues to be a grave threat globally. Besides, in view of hardships faced by taxpayers because of the pandemic, the government has extended several income tax (I-T) compliance timelines, including 2020-21 income tax returns (ITR), for individuals by two months to September 30. Meanwhile, Indian government may form a committee of experts to oversee cryptocurrency trade in the country as it looks at possibilities to regulate the digital currency instead of banning it altogether. Auto stocks will be in focus as ratings agency ICRA said the second wave of Covid-19 has dented the recovery momentum of automobile sector's Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and auto-ancillaries. There will be some reaction in sugar industry stocks as the Centre slashed subsidy on sugar exports from Rs 6,000 per tonne to Rs 4,000 per tonne with immediate effect in view of firm global prices. There will be lots of important earnings announcements too, to keep the markets in action.


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



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Tata Motors





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Hindalco Industries





Tata Steel






  • Cipla has launched a polymerase chain reaction test kit ViraGen for COVID-19 in India, in partnership with Ubio Biotechnology Systems. 
  • Infosys has collaborated with the Centre for Accessibility Australia to help drive awareness and inspire a more accessible and inclusive community via the Australian Access Awards. 
  • SBI has launched a full power YONO Savings Account that can be opened instantly with Video KYC in 4 simple steps. 
  • Bajaj Finserv's subsidiary company -- Bajaj Allianz Life is planning to offer financial support of up to Rs 1 crore to the family of its employees impacted by COVID-19.
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