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NSE Intra-day chart (19 March 2021)
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Market Commentary 22 March 2021
Markets to make flat-to-negative start amid mixed Asian cues


In a volatile session, Indian equity benchmarks snapped their five-day losing streak and ended over a percent higher each, led by gains in NTPC, Hindustan Unilever, Power Grid and Reliance Industries. The benchmarks staged a gap down opening, as rising coronavirus cases dampened the sentiments in the markets. India reported 39,643 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday pushing the overall tally to 11,513,945, according to Worldometer. The death toll from the deadly infection jumped to 159,249. Maharashtra has recorded 25,833 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day spike since last March when the first coronavirus infection was detected. However, the benchmarks staged a strong recovery in afternoon trading, as a pullback in U.S. Treasury yields from 14-month highs brought back some risk appetite into the markets. Traders took some support with Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur's statement that steps taken by the government to deal with COVID-19 pandemic are resulting in V-shaped economic recovery and the country is likely to witness double digit growth in 2021-22. Additional support also came as a UN report said India's economy, estimated to contract by 6.9 per cent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, is forecast to record a stronger recovery in 2021 and grow by 5 per cent, it also said the country's current fiscal year budget points to a shift towards demand-side stimulus, with an uptick in public investment. Key indices extended gains in late afternoon deals, after Moody's said India's economy is likely to grow by 12 percent in 2021 following a 7.1 percent contraction last year, as near-term prospects have turned more favourable. Domestic and external demand has been on the mend since the easing of restrictions, which has led to improved manufacturing output in recent months. Moody's expect private consumption and nonresidential investment to materially pick up over the next few quarters and strengthen the domestic demand revival in 2021. Some support also came with Union minister Nitin Gadkari stating that the vehicle scrapping policy will be a win-win policy that will help improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollution. The Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister said the policy will also lead to an increase in the country's automobile industry turnover to Rs 10 lakh crore from the current Rs 4.5 lakh crore. Finally, the BSE Sensex rose 641.72 points or 1.30% to 49,858.24, while the CNX Nifty was up by 186.15 points or 1.28% to 14,744.00.


The US markets ended mostly lower on Friday as traders kept a close eye on activity in the bond market after a spike in treasury yields contributed to yesterday's sell-off by tech stocks. Yields pulled back sharply at the start of trading but subsequently rebounded and spent the rest of the session lingering near the unchanged line. Besides, a steep drop by shares of Nike (NKE) weighed on the Dow after the athletic apparel and footwear giant reported fiscal third quarter earnings that beat expectations but weaker than expected revenues. Financial stocks also moved to the downside after the Federal Reserve said a temporary change to the supplementary leverage ratio, or SLR, for depository institutions will expire as scheduled on March 31, 2021. The temporary change, which allowed banks to hold less capital against Treasuries and other holdings, was made to provide flexibility for depository institutions to provide credit to households and businesses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Nasdaq rebounded after yesterday's sell-off. The rebound by the Nasdaq came as traders look to pick up technology stocks at reduced levels following the 3 percent nosedive by the tech-heavy index on Thursday. Meanwhile, reports on new and existing home sales, durable goods orders, and personal income and spending may attract attention next week along with Congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.


Rebounding after five successive days of losses, crude oil futures ended higher on Friday amid concerns about outlook for energy demand following a surge in coronavirus cases in several parts across the world, reports of fresh lockdown measures in some countries and slowdown in vaccine rollout hurt oil prices this week. Rising tensions between the US and Russia, which could result in the latter increasing its oil output, also weighed on crude prices. According to Baker Hughes, US drillers added nine oil rigs in this week, the biggest weekly increase since January. With the addition, the rig count rose to 318, the highest since May 2020. Crude oil futures for April rose $1.42 or 2.4 percent to settle at $61.42 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude added $1.85 or nearly 3 percent to settle at $64.53 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee ended marginally weaker against the US dollar, due to selling of the US currency by exporters and banks. Some support came with Finance Anurag Singh Thakur's statement that steps taken by the government to deal with COVID-19 pandemic are resulting in V-shaped economic recovery and the country is likely to witness double digit growth in 2021-22. However, upside remain capped with increasing concerns pertaining to the recent surge in coronavirus cases and localized lockdown at certain part of the country. On the global front, pound was steady on Friday, edging up slightly against the dollar and flat against the euro, a day after a Bank of England meeting that gave sterling traders little reason to change from their generally bullish outlook. Finally, the rupee ended 72.52, stronger by 1 paise from its previous close of 72.53 on Thursday.


The FIIs as per Friday's data were net buyer equity segment, while net seller in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 8154.54 crore against gross selling of Rs 6840.35 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 499.13 crore with gross sales of Rs 807.92 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 11.46 crore against gross selling of Rs 20.87 crore.


The US markets ended mostly in red on Friday amid US Treasury yields took a break from a recent surge. Asian markets are trading mixed on Monday as a plunge in the Turkish lira tested risk appetite, with stocks and bonds showing only a limited bid for safe-havens. Indian markets ended Friday's volatile session higher led by across-the-board gains. Barring Nifty Realty, all sectors ended in the green led by FMCG, metals and pharma indices. Today, the start of session is likely to be flat-to-negative amid mixed Asian cues. Volatility is likely to remain high this week due to the scheduled derivatives expiry of March monthly contracts. Rising coronavirus cases also is ikely to dampen sentiments in the markets. India reported 47,009 fresh Covid-19 cases today pushing the overall tally to 11,645,719, according to Worldometer. With this, India has registered its highest daily spike of 2021. The death toll from the infection jumped to 160,003. In what is its biggest single-day spike since the coronavirus pandemic began last year, Maharashtra has reported 30,535 fresh coronavirus cases. There will be some cautiousness with report that the International Monetary Fund pointed to emerging signs of a stronger global economic recovery, but warned that significant risks remained, including the emergence of mutations of the coronavirus. However, some support may come later in the day with report that Foreign Portfolio Investors have been flooding domestic markets this fiscal year. The latest data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed that FPI investment into domestic equities till March 10 of this fiscal year stood at $36 billion, their highest investment into the country since 2013. Traders may take note of the RBI data showing that the year-long pandemic left households more indebted, which has sharply jumped to 37.1 percent of GDP in Q2 of FY21, while their savings rate plunged to a low 10.4 percent. Jewelry stocks will be in focus as the commerce ministry data showed that gold imports fell 3.3 percent to $6.11 billion during April-February 2020-21. Imports of the yellow metal stood at $27 billion in April-February 2019-20. The decline in gold imports has helped in narrowing the country's trade deficit to $84.62 billion during the 11-month of the current fiscal, as against $151.37 billion a year ago.


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  • Cipla has pledged support to Terra Carta, a landmark charter that has been drawn up to put sustainability at the heart of the private sector.
  • GAIL India and Ranchi Municipal Corporation have signed a Concession Agreement for setting up Compressed Biagas plant in Ranchi. 
  • Reliance Industries' telecom arm -- Reliance Jio Infocomm has made upfront payments to the telecom department for the spectrum bought in the just-ended auctions.
  • HDFC Bank's MSME book grew 30 percent year-on-year to cross the Rs 2-lakh-crore-mark as of December-end.
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