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NSE Intra-day chart (18 March 2021)
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Market Commentary 19 March 2021
Benchmarks to make gap-down start on sluggish global cues


Indian equity benchmarks slipped for the fifth straight session and ended over a percent lower on Thursday, as a rise in US bond yields spooked investors. Besides, a single-day increase of over 35,800 Covid-19 cases, the highest since December 6, 2020, made market participants question the sustainability of the economic recovery. Domestic indices made gap-up opening, as traders took encouragement with former chief of Shanghai-based New Development Bank, K V Kamath expressed optimism that India's sovereign rating would go up on the back of efforts being taken by the government to push economic reforms. Some support also came after a parliamentary panel has suggested to the Department of Commerce to take appropriate measures to check further deterioration in exports and crucial imports for preventing more disruptions in the supply chains. Traders also took note of report that Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said India and the UAE discussed ways to strengthen energy cooperation, despite the nation asking its refiners to reduce their reliance on Middle Eastern oil. But, domestic indices gave up all intra-day gains and fell sharply lower in late afternoon session, as some concern came with a joined survey carried out by FICCI-IBA has stated that asset quality of banks, which saw some improvement in the second half of 2020, is likely to worsen during the first six months of 2021. The survey was conducted on 20 banks, including public sector, private sector and foreign banks, representing about 59 per cent of the banking industry, as classified by asset size. Some worries came with the private report that India's central bank may have to delay the start of monetary policy normalisation by three months amid rising COVID-19 cases, but barring the return of stringent lockdowns there is no significant threat to the economy's recovery. Separately, commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has called upon all investors to stick to the spirit and ambit of laws and not try to find loopholes in the policies, while inviting them to take advantage of the 'demand, democracy and demographic dividend' in India. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 585.10 points or 1.17% to 49,216.52, while the CNX Nifty was down by 163.45 points or 1.11% to 14,557.85.


The US markets ended lower on Thursday as spike in treasury yields renewed concerns about the outlook for high-growth companies. The yield on the benchmark ten-year note jumped above 1.7 percent to reach its highest levels since January of 2020, while the thirty-year bond yield shot up to its highest levels since last summer. Yields skyrocketed despite yesterday's assurances by the Federal Reserve that interest rates will remain at near-zero levels through 2023. The jump in yields to concerns that the Fed's apparent willingness to let inflation accelerate more than normal will reduce the appeal of bonds. On the economic data front, the Labor Department released a report showing an unexpected increase in first-time claims for US unemployment benefits in the week ended March 13th. The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 770,000, an increase of 45,000 from the previous week's revised level of 725,000. The rebound came as a surprise to participants, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 700,000 from the 712,000 originally reported for the previous week. However, the unexpected increase in jobless claims was partly due to jump in claims in Texas due to the impact of Winter Storm Uri.


Crude oil futures ended deeply in red on Thursday, extending their previous sessions' losses, amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to uncertainty about the pace of the economic recovery following a slowdown in vaccine rollouts in European countries. Reports showing a surge in coronavirus cases in several countries in Europe and fears of fresh lockdown measures raised concerns about energy demand. Besides, rising tensions between the US and Russia, which could result in the latter increasing its oil output, also weighed on prices. Crude oil futures for April dropped $4.60 or 7.1 percent to settle at $60.00 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude fell $5.32 or nearly 8 percent to settle at $62.68a 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 remained positive as Fitch Solutions revised its forecast for Indian rupee to average Rs 73.50 per US dollar in 2021, slightly stronger from Rs 75.50 per US dollar previously, which reflects its view for the rupee to mostly trade sideways over the course of year. However, upside remain capped as private report stated that India's central bank may have to delay the start of monetary policy normalisation by three months amid rising COVID-19 cases, but barring the return of stringent lockdowns there is no significant threat to the economy's recovery. On the global front, spiking U.S. bond yields boosted the dollar on Thursday, helping it to revive from two-week lows after the Federal Reserve's push back against speculation over interest rate hikes. Finally, the rupee ended 72.53, stronger by 2 paise from its previous close of 72.55 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 10587.82 crore against gross selling of Rs 7356.42 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 480.70 crore with gross sales of Rs 694.58 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 12.15 crore against gross selling of Rs 15.78 crore.


The US markets ended lower on Thursday as rising bond yields once again pulled down shares of technology companies and the energy sector sold off on a sharp drop in oil prices. Asian markets are trading mostly in red on Friday pressured by US Treasury yields that rose to 14-month highs overnight and oil prices, which fell by their biggest one-day declines since last summer. Indian markets ended a percent lower on Thursday, extending losses for the fifth straight session as bond yields spiked to their 13-month high. Today, the markets are likely to continue their sluggish trend with gap-down opening amid weakness in global peers coupled with concerns over rising coronavirus cases in the country. 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. The five most affected states by total cases are Maharashtra (2,370,507), Kerala (1,094,294), Karnataka (962,339), Andhra Pradesh (892,269), and Tamil Nadu (861,429). Maharashtra has recorded 25,833 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day spike since last March when the first coronavirus infection was detected. however, some respite may come later in the day 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. Some support may come as Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said 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. IT firms will be in focus after Accenture raised its guidance for the FY21 to 6.5-8.5% from 4-6% earlier, suggesting that Indian IT companies could also report robust growth for the March quarter next month. Insurance stocks will be in limelight as the Rajya Sabha passed The Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to increase the foreign direct investment limit in the sector from 49% to 74%. There will be some reaction in oil & gas sector stocks as ratings agency India Ratings and Research said profitability of upstream oil producers is expected to pick up in FY22, led by rising oil and gas prices along with higher production. Meanwhile, Easy Trip Planners to make market debut today. The Rs 510 crore issue, which was sold from March 8 to March 10, was a big hit among investors, receiving a whopping 159.33 times bids.


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Hindalco Industries






  • UPL has committed to the UNGC initiative - a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible business practices. 
  • Reliance Industries' telecom arm -- Reliance Jio Infocomm has added 19,56,812 customers in January 2021.
  • IOC has entered into collaboration with Israeli start-up company Phinergy to form IOC Phinergy. 
  • BPCL is planning to add 400 more retail outlets in FY22 above its existing 2,738 retail outlets in the eastern region envisioning an increase in market share in Motor Spirit and High-Speed Diesel from present 27% to 30%.
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