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NSE Intra-day chart (22 March 2021)
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Market Commentary 23 March 2021
Benchmarks to get flat-to-positive start tracking gains on Wall Street


Indian equity benchmarks closed in the negative on Monday but staged a strong rebound from the lows. Markets made a negative start, tracking losses in index majors Indusind Bank, Power Grid, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank amid a weak trend in global markets. Sentiments remained down-beat 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. Selling further crept in with the latest data from the Reserve Bank showed that as 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. The household savings plunged as the pandemic has led to tens of millions losing jobs and almost all forced to take deep pay-cuts, forcing them to borrow more or dip into their savings to meet expenses.  Mounting concerns pertaining to rise in COVID-19 cases in various parts of the country and resultant restrictions continued to weigh on investors sentiments. However, late buying in Realty, IT, FMCG and TECK shares helped benchmarks recover from intraday lows. Traders also found some support with Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar's statement that India needs to grow at 10.5-11 percent in real terms in FY22 and then sustain that to overcome massive ill-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some support also came with Sebi data showing that investments through participatory notes (P-notes) in the Indian capital market rose to Rs 91,658 crore at February-end, making it the highest level in 33 months, suggesting growing confidence of overseas investors. Traders also took a note of the article on the State of Economy written by RBI Deputy Governor M D Patra and other officials stated that amid ominous signs of a possible second wave of COVID-19, the country needs to speed up vaccination drive. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 86.95 points or 0.17% to 49,771.29, while the CNX Nifty was down by 7.60 points or 0.05% to 14,736.40.


The US markets ended higher on Monday as traders kept a close eye on activity in the bond market, with a decrease by treasury yields generating buying interest in high-growth companies. After hovering near its highest levels in over a year in the previous session, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note pulled back below 1.7 percent. The drop in yields, which move opposite of prices, came as treasuries benefited from their appeal as a safe haven amid turmoil in the Turkish lira and concerns over rising Covid-19 cases in Europe. Meanwhile, traders looked ahead to two days of Congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. On the economic data front, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a report showing existing home sales in the US tumbled by much more than expected in the month of February. NAR said existing home sales plunged by 6.6 percent to an annual rate of 6.22 million in February after inching up by 0.2 percent to a downwardly revised rate of 6.66 million in January. Street had expected existing home sales to slump by 3.0 percent to a rate of 6.49 million from the 6.69 million originally reported for the previous month.


Crude oil futures ended marginally higher on Monday as hopes for a pick-up in demand later this year helped arrest last week's broad sell-off. Support also came in as British drug major AstraZeneca Plc announced positive late-stage trial results of its covid-19 vaccine AZD1222 in the United States. The company said the US trial met the primary efficacy endpoint in preventing COVID-19 at interim analysis. It demonstrated statistically significant vaccine efficacy of 79% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% efficacy at preventing severe disease and hospitalization. However, upside remained capped as the UK and Germany are reportedly looking to extend lockdown measures in some places to curb the spread of the coronavirus infections. Crude oil futures for April rose 13 cents or 0.2 percent to settle at $61.55 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude added 6 cents or 0.1 percent to settle at $64.59 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Rising for third straight session, Indian rupee strengthened substantially against dollar on Monday, owing to dollar sale by exporters and banks. Sentiments were upbeat as RBI's data states that foreign portfolio investors have pumped in a record $36 billion into equities so far this fiscal up to March 10, which is the highest since FY13. On the other hand, net foreign direct investment inflows jumped to $44 billion, till end January, up from $ 36.3 billion a year ago, driven by the massive inflows in November and December, with the last month of the year getting a record $ 6.3 billion. On the global front, currency market jitters had limited impact on the pound on Monday, which was little changed against the dollar and euro, and positioning data showed speculators reduced their sterling longs but remained bullish. Finally, the rupee ended 72.37, stronger by 15 paise from its previous close of 72.52 on Friday.


The FIIs as per Monday's data were net buyer in equity segment and net seller in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 23245.89 crore against gross selling of Rs 22639.67 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 613.82 crore with gross sales of Rs 924.28 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 159.14 crore against gross selling of Rs 166.89 crore.


The US markets ended higher on Monday as technology stocks rebounded from a recent selloff sparked by surging bond yields. Asian markets are trading mixed on Tuesday as bond yields continue to keep markets on the edge. Indian markets recovered from the day's lows and closed marginally lower Monday amid weak global cues. Today, the markets are likely to make flat-to-positive start tracking overnight gains on Wall Street. Traders will be taking encouragement as FICCI's latest quarterly survey on manufacturing assessed recovery of the sector for Q-3 (October-December 2020-21) and pointed that it is expected to regain the lost momentum in the Q-4. The percentage of respondents reporting higher production in the third quarter of 2020-21 had increased vis-a-vis the Q-2 of 2020-21. The proportion of respondents reporting higher output during October-December 2020 rose to 33 per cent, as compared to 24 per cent in Q-2 of 2020-21. However, traders may be concerned as India reported 40,611 the daily number of Covid-19 cases. The overall tally stands at 11,686,330, according to Worldometer. The death toll from the infection is at 160,200. Maharashtra recorded 24,645 new cases. Meanwhile, Delhi saw as many as 888 fresh coronavirus cases on Monday. There may be some cautiousness with a private report that the pandemic-induced shocks to the economy which have already shaved off 15.7 per cent of the GDP from the previous year, will delay the ambitious target of becoming the third largest economy by three years to 2031-32 now. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday introduced the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) Bill 2021 in the Lok Sabha to pave the way for setting up of a government-owned development finance institution to help fund about 7,000 infra projects under the National Infrastructure Pipeline. Banking stocks will be in focus as the Supreme Court of India gears up to pronounce the verdict on various pleas that seek an extension of the loan moratorium that was announced almost a year ago. The pleas before the apex court are from various trader associations. Earlier the government had informed the court that if the interest on all loans and advances was to be waived the amount lost would be close to Rs 6 lakh crore. There will be some reaction in logistic stocks as India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said that India's logistics sector looks stable in financial year 2021-22 as a recovering economy builds demand, citing the commissioning of a dedicated freight corridor.


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  • Titan Company's subsidiary company -- Tanishq has introduced pay from home service in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and West Bengal. 
  • NTPC's Bongaigaon plant in Assam has crossed its installed capacity of 750 MW for the first time since the commissioning of all its units two years ago. 
  • Bharti Airtel's special panel of directors has approved allotment of 36.4 million equity shares on a preferential basis to Warburg Pincus affiliate at Rs 600 issue price, as partial consideration towards Bharti Telemedia deal. 
  • Maruti Suzuki India is going to increase the prices of vehicles in April 2021.
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