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NSE Intra-day chart (17 February 2022)
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Market Commentary 18 February 2022
Markets likely to get pessimistic start amid weak global cues


Indian equity benchmarks fluctuated between gains and losses throughout the session and ended marginally lower on Thursday, led by losses in banking, healthcare and telecom stocks. Investors also turned cautious weighing on geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Indices started session on a fairly positive note, as traders took some support with finance ministry's statement that with the muted impact of the third wave of the pandemic on economic activity, the Indian economy may undergo an economic reset by end of the year, clocking 9 per cent growth in 2021-22 (FY22) and around 8 per cent in 2022-23 (FY23). However, markets turned volatile soon and traded with losses in morning deal as traders got anxious with Acuite Ratings & Research said India's FY22 current account deficit faces mild upside risk from high commodity prices. The wider merchandise trade deficits pulled India's Q2FY22 current account into the negative territory. Key gauges one again entered into green terrain in the noon session, taking support from the income tax department's statement that more than 4.50 crore tax returns have been processed so far, of the total 6.26 crore ITR filed for the financial year 2020-21. Further, more than 5.41 crore income tax returns (ITRs) filed have been verified and 1.58 crore refunds amounting to Rs 31,857 crore for AY 2021-22 (2020-21 fiscal) have been issued. Some optimism also came after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pitched for expeditious and equitable distribution of vaccines to aid global recovery. She shared insights on India's policy response to pandemic and suggested that recovery measures have to be built around a long-term vision. But, markets failed to hold the gains end ended lower, as some pessimism remained among traders with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) article stating that the manufacturing sector will need continued policy support for smoother and faster recovery to attain the long-term trend path. It said although the sector may soon attain its pre-COVID level, the process of attaining the long-term trend levels may take some time. It said that just when the manufacturers' outlook started looking up, the COVID-19-induced lockdown measures slowed down the revival process. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 104.67 points or 0.18% to 57,892.01 and the CNX Nifty was down by 17.60 points or 0.10% to 17,304.60.


The US markets ended sharply lower on Thursday amid renewed geopolitical concerns, as the Biden administration has reverted to describing a Russian invasion of Ukraine as imminent. The evidence on the ground is that Russia is moving toward an imminent invasion. Adding to the concerns, Russia has expelled the deputy chief of the US diplomatic mission in Moscow. The latest developments come after Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists traded accusations of attacks in the eastern part of the country. Negative sentiment also have been generated in reaction to the latest batch of US economic data, including a Labor Department report showing an unexpected rebound in initial jobless claims in the week ended February 12th. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose to 248,000, an increase of 23,000 from the previous week's revised level of 225,000. The rebound surprised participants, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 219,000 from the 223,000 originally reported for the previous week. The Commerce Department also released a report showing new residential construction in the US pulled back sharply in the month of January. The report said housing starts tumbled by 4.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.638 million in January after inching up by 0.3 percent to a revised rate of 1.708 million in December. Street had expected housing starts to edge down by 0.1 percent to a rate of 1.700 million from the 1.702 million originally reported for the previous month.


Crude oil futures ended deeply in red on Thursday on reports talks in Vienna to revive the Iranian nuclear deal are nearing their conclusion. The United States is in the midst of the very final stages of indirect talks with Iran, aimed at salvaging a 2015 deal limiting Tehran's nuclear activities. A decision on salvaging the nuclear deal was said by France on Wednesday to be only days away and that it was up to Tehran to make the political choice, though Iran called on Western powers to be realistic. However, continuing tensions over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to support oil markets because of the potential disruption to energy supplies. Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian forces traded accusations on Thursday that each had fired across the ceasefire line in eastern Ukraine, raising alarm at a time when Western countries have warned of a possible Russian invasion any day. Benchmark crude oil futures for March delivery fell $1.90 or 2 percent to settle at $91.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for April delivery dropped $2.05 or 2.17 percent to settle at $92.76 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee ended marginally higher against dollar on Thursday, on persistent selling of the American currency by exporters. Traders were worried as Fed minutes showed the US rates will be raised if inflation does not ease. Also, investors were on edge after Western countries including the US warned that Russia's military presence on Ukraine's borders is growing, rather than shrinking as Moscow has insisted. However, downfall remain capped with finance ministry's statement that with the muted impact of the third wave of the pandemic on economic activity, the Indian economy may undergo an economic reset by end of the year, clocking 9 per cent growth in 2021-22 (FY22) and around 8 per cent in 2022-23 (FY23). On the global front, dollar treaded water on Thursday and the Japanese yen held on to its earlier gains after a Russian news report of mortar fire in eastern Ukraine jangled market nerves and boosted the appeal of safe haven bets. Finally, the rupee ended at 75.06 (Provisional), weaker by 2 paise from its previous close of 75.04 on Wednesday.


The FIIs as per Thursday's data were net sellers in both equity and debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 7000.93 crore against gross selling of Rs 7368.41 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 242.70 crore against gross selling of Rs 695.94 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 29.99 crore against gross selling of Rs 10.13 crore.


The US markets ended lower on Thursday as investors remained anxious over the possibility Russia could invade Ukraine. Asian markets are trading mostly in red on Friday following deep losses on Wall Street overnight. Indian markets closed a volatile session on Thursday on a lower note, though recovering most of their intraday losses. Today, the markets are likely to get pessimistic start amid weakness across global markets after Ukraine-Russia tensions resurfaced. However, some support may come later in the day as rating agency Icra said the government's ambitious production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme will look to unlock manufacturing capacity as well as support in attracting about Rs 4 lakh crore of capital expenditure over the next five years. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pitched for expeditious and equitable distribution of vaccines to aid global recovery. Also, she exhorted multilateral financial institutions to step up funding to low and middle-income countries to bolster their preparedness to deal with any pandemic in the future. Such nations, the minister stressed, have inadequate resources to ward off large-scale health emergencies and, therefore, require greater global assistance. There will be some buzz in telecom companies stocks reaching to their subscribers' data. Trai data showed that the mobile user count in India fell by 1.28 crore in December 2021 compared to the previous month, with Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea suffering subscriber losses, even as Bharti Airtel added customers. Banking sector stocks will be in focus as India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) revised the outlook on the Indian banking sector from stable to improving for FY23 as its health is at its best in decades. The improving health trend that began in FY20 is likely to continue into the next financial year (FY23). There will be some reaction is energy stocks as the government allowed free inter-state wheeling of renewable energy used in the production of green hydrogen and ammonia as it seeks to boost usage of the carbon-free fuel and make India an export hub. Unveiling the first part of the much-awaited National Hydrogen Policy, Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister Raj Kumar Singh said the government is targeting production of 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030. Housing finance industry stocks will be in lime light as Crisil Ratings in the report said since the introduction of new asset quality norms last November that brought in shadow banks and housing financiers on par with banks, housing finance companies' gross bad loans have gone up by 70 basis points (bps) even as their portfolio quality has improved. The bad loan pile is expected to stabilise by the end of this quarter. Besides, as many as four companies, including three state-owned, put in 10 bids for the eight oil and gas blocks on offer in India's latest round of bidding for exploration acreage, according to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).


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



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  • Tata Motors' wholly owned subsidiary -- JLR has formed a multi-year strategic partnership with NVIDIA to jointly develop and deliver next-generation automated driving systems plus AI-enabled services and experiences for its customers. 
  • M&M automotive division -- Mahindra Automotive has tied up with vehicle and leasing subscription platform Quiklyz, which allows customers to lease Mahindra vehicles in a hassle-free manner. 
  • Reliance Industries' telecom arm -- Jio has lost 12,901,812 customers in December 2021.
  • Bharti Airtel has added 4,75,081 customers in December 2021.
News Analysis