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NSE Intra-day chart (04 March 2021)
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Market Commentary 05 March 2021
Markets likely to make gap-down start amid weakness in global peers


Indian equity benchmarks snapped their three-day winning streak and ended lower by over a percent each on Thursday, as another spike in bond yields weighed on the overall global market sentiment. The benchmarks staged a gap down opening, as India's tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 11,156,748, with a daily increase of 15,000 in total cases. Death toll has reached 157,471, with 110 fatalities in a day. India's count of active cases has jumped to 175,044. The country continues to be second-most-affected globally, and ranks 13th among worst-hit nations by active cases. But markets recovered partially from lower levels in afternoon trading, as traders took some solace with Fitch Solutions' statement that household spending in India is likely to grow by a real rate of 7.9 percent year-on-year in 2021, marking an improvement from the negative 14 percent contraction in 2020. Some support also came as the income tax department said it has issued over Rs 1.98 lakh crore worth refunds to over 1.95 crore taxpayers so far this fiscal. Of this, personal income tax refunds of Rs 70,572 crore have been issued to over 1.92 crore taxpayers, and corporate tax refunds of Rs 1.27 lakh crore have been issued in 2.19 lakh cases. However, markets failed to hold recovery and settled with heavy losses due to heavy selling in metal, banking, energy and telecom stocks. Market participants took a note of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal's statement that the need of the hour is to reduce logistics cost in the country as India cannot be competitive if this cost remains high. He said the investments in the Sagarmala project will boost the country's maritime infrastructure, expand freight corridors, make freight more cost-effective and bring down the current logistics cost, which is estimated to be about 13-14 percent. Meanwhile, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories to put in place code of conduct and institutional mechanism to prevent fraud or market abuse by them and their designated persons. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 598.57 points or 1.16% to 50,846.08, while the CNX Nifty was down by 164.85 points or 1.08% to 15,080.75.


The US markets ended lower on Thursday as treasury yields spiked in reaction to highly anticipated comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The yield on the benchmark ten-year note soared as Powell spoke, ending the session at its highest closing level in a year. Powell acknowledged the reopening of the economy could create some upward pressure on prices. However, Powell suggested the increase in the annual rate of inflation would largely reflect comparisons to the low prices seen a year ago. The Fed chief said he expects the increase in inflation to be transitory and stressed there is a lot of ground to cover before price growth reaches a sustainable level above the Fed's 2 percent target. Powell said the recent spike in bond yields has caught my attention, and he would be concerned by disorderly conditions in markets or persistent tightening in financial conditions that threatens the achievement of our goals. On the economic data front, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest increase in first-time claims for US unemployment benefits in the week ended February 27th. The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 745,000, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week's revised level of 736,000. Street had expected jobless claims to rise to 750,000 from the 730,000 originally reported for the previous week. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a report showing a bigger than expected increase in new orders for US manufactured goods in the month of January. The Commerce Department said factory orders surged up by 2.6 percent after jumping by an upwardly revised 1.6 percent in December. Street had expected factory orders to advance by 2.1 percent compared to the 1.1 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.


Magnifying their previous session's gains, Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Thursday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its oil-producing allies (OPEC+) would keep production largely steady through April. Saudi Arabia also said that it would extend its one million barrels per day voluntary production cut into April. Meanwhile, crude oil prices have soared to pre-virus levels in recent weeks, driven higher by substantial OPEC+ production cuts and the mass rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in many high-income countries. Crude oil futures for April rose $2.55 or 4.2 percent to settle at $63.83 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude surged $3.10 cents or 4.8 percent to settle at $67.17 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Snapping two-day winning streak, Indian rupee ended lower against dollar on Thursday weighed down by a rebound in the US dollar and lackluster trade in domestic equities. Investors maintained a cautious approach despite report that Piyush Goyal stressed on improving Indian quality standards to ensure that India is recognised as a quality-conscious country with which people can do business with confidence. He called for more and more use of artificial intelligence, big data and other technology-related solutions to help resolve standardisation issues facing industry and other entrepreneurs. On the global front, dollar hit a seven-month high against the yen on Thursday as a more orderly rise in U.S. Treasury yields lent support ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that may determine the trend for global bond markets and currencies. Finally, the rupee ended at 72.83, 11 paise weaker from its previous close of 72.72 on Wednesday.


The FIIs as per Thursday's data were net buyer equity segment, while net seller in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 11214.49 crore against gross selling of Rs 8781.22 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 150.61 crore with gross sales of Rs 2286.75 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 9.71 crore against gross selling of Rs 50.98 crore.


The US markets ended significantly lower on Thursday amid a rout in tech stocks and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks on rising bond yields. Asian markets are trading in the deep sea of red on Friday primarily due to the sell-off in technology stocks and surge in bond yields overseas. Indian markets snapped three sessions of gains and ended lower on Thursday, dragged by losses in metal, financial stocks amid weak global cues as bond yields rose again. Today, markets are likely to make gap-down opening for the second straight session amid feeble global cues as rising US Treasury yields again rattled equity investors. Besides, a jump in crude oil prices may add to the selling pressure. Traders will be concerned as India's tally of coronavirus cases has risen to 11,173,572, with a daily increase of 16,824 in total cases. Death toll has reached 157,584, with 113 fatalities in a day. India's count of active cases has jumped to 177,967. The country continues to be second-most-affected globally, and ranks 13th among worst-hit nations by active cases. Maharashtra, the most affected state overall, has reported 9,000 new cases. The state has added nearly 80,000 cases in the past 10 days. However, some respite may come later in the day with the government data showing that foreign direct investment (FDI) in India grew 40 percent to $51.47 billion during April-December 2020-21. India has attracted 22 percent higher FDI inflow (including re-invested earnings) of $67.54 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal as against $55.14 billion in the same period of 2019-20. Some support may also come as the Reserve Bank decided to conduct simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities under OMO, on a review of current liquidity and financial conditions. This will be conducted for an aggregate amount of Rs 20,000 crore under purchase and Rs 15,000 crore under sale on March 10, 2021. Traders may take note of report that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar hgas said the government is promoting the agriculture sector through reforms in the laws which seeks to bring revolutionary changes. Meanwhile, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has recommended 8.5 percent annual rate of interest to member accounts for 2020-21. NBFCs, HFCs stocks will be in focus with India Ratings' report that after a growth moderation in FY21, Non-Bank Finance Companies (NBFCs) are estimated to witness a 9.5 per cent jump in their assets under management in FY22. Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) will post a higher growth at 10 per cent as home sales go up, and maintained its stable outlook on both NBFCs and HFCs for FY22. Besides, agrichemicals manufacturer Heranba Industries is scheduled to list on stock exchanges today. The Rs 625-crore IPO was subscribed 83.29 times during the three-day bidding process. The issue was sold in the range of Rs 626-627 per share.


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