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NSE Intra-day chart (26 February 2024)
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Market Commentary 27 February 2024
Benchmarks likely to get negative start on weak global cues

Indian equity benchmarks ended lower for the second straight session and lost nearly half a percent on Monday due to profit-taking in Metal, Consumer Durables and TECK shares amid weak global trends. Markets started the week on a feeble note and extended losses as the day progressed as traders were anxious with data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showing that India's foreign exchange reserves declined to $616.10 billion as on February 16. Some concern also came as Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (Mospi) stated that as many as 431 infrastructure projects, each entailing an investment of Rs 150 crore or above, were hit by cost overrun of more than Rs 4.80 trillion in January 2024. However, markets managed to trim some losses in late afternoon deals, as traders found some solace with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's statement that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, India has moved up to the fifth position from the 10th spot in the world in terms of economy. Some support came with Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) stating that successful conclusion of India's proposed trade agreements with the UK, Oman and four European nation bloc EFTA will reflect its commitment to trade liberalisation and economic integration at a time when the whole world is turning protectionist. But, markets failed to erase all the losses and ended lower as some pessimism remained among traders with a private report stating that India's GDP growth likely declined to 6.5 percent in October-December 2023 from 7.6 percent the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the statistics ministry will release GDP data for October-December 2023 on February 29. It will also release its second advance growth estimate for 2023-24 as a whole, as well as the first, second, and third revised estimates of growth for 2022-23, 2021-22, and 2020-21, respectively. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 352.67 points or 0.48% to 72,790.13 and the CNX Nifty was down by 90.65 points or 0.41% to 22,122.05.

The US markets closed in red on Monday, and the major averages turned weak after a slightly positive start, as investors largely stayed cautious ahead of some key economic data, including a report on consumption expenditure. The Commerce Department's report on personal income and spending, which is scheduled to be released on Thursday, includes a reading on consumer price inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve. The inflation data could have a notable impact on the outlook for interest rates, as Fed officials have said they need greater confidence inflation is slowing before cutting rates. Reports on durable goods orders, consumer confidence, weekly jobless claims and manufacturing activity are also likely to attract attention in the coming days. On the economic data front, data released by the Commerce Department showed new home sales climbed 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 661,000 in January after surging by 7.3 percent to a revised rate of 651,000 in December. With the increase, new home sales continued to regain ground after hitting their lowest level in a year in November. Street had expected new home sales to jump by 2.4 percent to a rate of 680,000 in January from the 664,000 originally reported for the previous month. In stock specific development, Berkshire Hathaway lost nearly 2 percent, despite the group posted an annual profit of $97 billion, its second straight record annual profit.

Crude oil futures wiped out initial losses and ended higher on Monday amid concerns about supply after Houthi militants continued their attacks in the Red Sea route. According to reports, Houthi missiles narrowly missed a U.S.-flagged tanker over the weekend. Initial weakness in prices was due to demand worries, especially in the face of uncertainty over the timing and pace of interest rate cuts in the U.S. and Europe. Traders await a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting countries and allies early next month. It is expected that the group will extend production cuts beyond March. Benchmark crude oil futures for April delivery rose $1.09 or about 1.4% to settle at $77.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for April delivery was up by $1.01 or 1.25% to $81.18 per barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

Indian rupee ended higher on Monday amid inflow of foreign funds. Traders took support with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's statement that the country has moved up to the fifth position from the 10th spot in the world in terms of economy, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership. She said in the next year and a half, we will be at the third position, and added that the standard of living of the citizens is better in a country that has a strong economy and everyone benefits from it. On the global front, the dollar held fairly steady on Monday ahead of a macro-packed week that could shed more light on the global rate outlook, with a U.S. inflation reading taking centre stage. The core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index - the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation - is due on Thursday, where expectations are for a 0.4% increase on a monthly basis. Finally, the rupee ended at 82.88 (Provisional), stronger by 3 paise from its previous close of 82.91 on Friday.

The FIIs as per Monday's data were net buyers in both equity and debt segments. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 15622.39 crore against gross selling of Rs 14070.54 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 2439.77 crore with gross sales of Rs 1206.53 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 169.15 crore against gross selling of Rs 149.83 crore.

The US markets ended higher on Monday as focus shifted from Nvidia powered rally to economic data for likely cues on timing of interest rate cut. Asian markets are trading mostly lower on Tuesday with slightly warmer-than-expected Japanese inflation putting investors on guard ahead of price data due in Europe and the U.S. this week. Indian markets ended lower on Monday amid broad-based profit booking and tracking weakness in Asian counterparts and European markets. Today, domestic benchmark indices are likely to get negative start amid slightly weaker moves across global markets. Foreign fund outflows likely to dent sentiments. Provisional data from the NSE showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net sold shares worth Rs 285.15 crore on February 26. There will be some cautiousness as India expressed serious concerns in a WTO meeting in Abu Dhabi over increase in the use of trade protectionist measures by certain countries in the name of environment protection. The remarks assume significance as the country has earlier flagged issues over the European Union's (EU) decision to impose carbon tax (a kind of import tax) on sectors such as steel and fertiliser; and adoption of deforestation regulation by the 27-nation bloc. However, some respite may come later in the day with a private report stating that India's real GDP growth for the December quarter is all set to come at a higher-than-anticipated 7 per cent. The official data on quarterly growth will be released on February 29. Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the world no longer feels surprised at India's achievements as it has become a new normal now and they today realise the benefit of walking alongside the country. There will be some buzz in hotel industry stocks as a report by credit rating firm ICRA said that the Indian hotel industry is expected to register a revenue growth of seven to nine per cent in the next financial year 2024-25. Auto stocks will be in focus as a CRISIL Ratings report stated the share of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in total passenger vehicle (PV) sales in India is expected to grow from 51 per cent in 2022-23 to 62 per cent in 2024-25. It said PV sales are expected to grow by 5-7 per cent in 2024-25 due to rise in demand for SUVs. It added in 2023-24, the PV sales growth is expected to be about 6-8 per cent. There will be some reaction in tobacco industry relates stocks after the Government of India announced measures to support Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, which were affected by heavy rainfall and drought, respectively, impacting crop production in the states. For Andhra Pradesh, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has approved interest-free loans for growers, while penalties for excess production have been waived in Karnataka. In the primary market - Exicom Tele Systems and Platinum Industries IPOs to open for subscription today in the price band of Rs 135 - Rs 142 and Rs 162 - Rs 171, respectively.

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  • Bharti Airtel is planning to deliver uninterrupted connectivity to metro commuters by deploying high-capacity nodes 35 meters below river Hooghly.
  • L&T's construction arm -- L&T construction has secured an order for its Railways Strategic Business Group to construct the Jakarta MRT Project (Phase 2A) through L&T's long-term Japanese partner, Sojitz Corporation.
  • Wipro and Nokia have launched joint private wireless solution to help enterprises scale their digital transformation.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has imposed a monetary penalty on State Bank of India for violation of various norms.

News Analysis