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NSE Intra-day chart (01 March 2024)
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Market Commentary 02 March 2024
Benchmarks likely to start special trading session on positive note

Friday turned-out to be a jubilant day of trade for Indian equity benchmarks with frontline gauges ending the session at fresh closing peaks, surpassing their crucial 22,300 (Nifty) and 73,700 (Sensex) levels. After making a gap-up opening, markets gained strength-to-strength throughout the day, helped by impressive GDP data. India reported a faster-than-expected 8.4 per cent growth in Q3 GDP led by government capex spending. The National Statistical Office (NSO), which releases the data, revised upwards FY24 growth estimate to 7.6 per cent from the 7.3 per cent projected in January.  Sentiments remained up-beat with a labour ministry stating that retail inflation for industrial workers eased to 4.59 per cent in January 2024 compared to 4.91 per cent in December 2023 mainly due to lower prices of certain food items. Food inflation stood at 7.66 per cent in January 2024 against 8.18 per cent in December 2023. Food inflation was 5.69 per cent in January 2023 a year ago. Domestic sentiments remained buoyant in second half of trading session, as India's manufacturing sector continued growth momentum in the month of February, aided by growth in factory production and sales coupled with strongest expansion in new export orders. According to the report, the seasonally adjusted HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 56.9 in February as against 56.5 in January, pointing the strongest improvement in the health of the sector since September 2023. Traders also took encouragement with Chief Economic Adviser V. Anantha Nageswaran's statement that India's post-pandemic robust economic momentum will continue for the fourth year in a row with a likely 7% expansion in the next financial year. Traders took a note of reports that the government's fiscal deficit at Rs 11 lakh crore at January end touched 63.6 per cent of the revised annual target. In the corresponding period last year, the fiscal deficit or gap between the expenditure and revenue was 67.8 per cent of Revised Estimates (RE) of the Union Budget 2022-23. Finally, the BSE Sensex rose 1245.05 points or 1.72% to 73,745.35 and the CNX Nifty was up by 355.95 points or 1.62% to 22,338.75.

The US markets magnified their previous session's gains and ended higher on Friday with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 once again reaching new record closing highs. A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed manufacturing activity in the U.S. unexpectedly contracted at an accelerated rate in the month of February. The ISM said its manufacturing PMI dipped to 47.8 in February from 49.1 in January, with a reading below 50 indicating contraction. Street had expected the index to inch up to 49.5. Also, the University of Michigan released revised data showing consumer sentiment in the U.S. unexpectedly deteriorated in the month of February. The report said the consumer sentiment index for February was downwardly revised to 76.9 from the previously reported 79.6. Street had expected the reading to be unrevised. With the unexpected downward revision, the consumer sentiment index is now below the January reading of 79.0. The weak data contributed to a downturn by treasury yields, which added to optimism about the Federal Reserve eventually cutting interest rates. Meanwhile, the surge by the Nasdaq partly reflected substantial strength among computer hardware stocks following upbeat results from Dell (DELL), with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index soaring by 6.9 percent to a record closing high. Shares of Dell skyrocketed by 31.6 percent after the computer maker reported fourth quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines. Biotechnology and networking stocks also saw considerable strength, while gold, oil service and pharmaceutical stocks turned in some of the best performances outside the tech sector.

Crude oil futures settled at a four-month high on Friday, buoyed by the Energy Information Administration's report that oil demand surged to a four-year high in 2023 and demand will hold near that level through this year. Optimism about an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve in June also contributed to the jump in oil prices. Investors await an OPEC+ decision on supply agreements for the second quarter. The group is likely to extend its production cuts through the second quarter and possibly the end of 2024. Escalating tensions in the Middle East also added to the rise in the crude oil prices. Benchmark crude oil futures for April delivery rose $1.71 or about 2.2% to settle at $79.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for April delivery was up by $1.71 or about 2.1% to $83.94 per barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

Indian rupee ended lower against the dollar on Friday amid rising crude oil prices in the overseas market and increased demand for the American currency from importers. Sentiments were down beat as eight core industries growth slowed to a 15-month low of 3.6 per cent in January 2024, on account of poor performance of sectors like refinery products and fertilizer. In December 2023, core sector growth had printed in at 4.9 percent. In January 2023, the core sector had grown by 9.7 per cent. On the global front, the yen slipped against the dollar on Friday after Bank of Japan governor Kazuo Ueda said it was too soon to declare victory on pulling inflation up to a desired level. Meanwhile, the dollar was little changed against its other major peers, bitcoin took a breather after surging last month, and China's yuan dipped after weak manufacturing data. Finally, the rupee ended at 82.91 (Provisional), weaker by 2 paise from its previous close of 82.89 on Thursday.

The FIIs as per Friday's data were net buyers in equity segment, while they were net sellers in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 57371.12 crore against gross selling of Rs 53169.81 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1267.21 crore with gross sales of Rs 1400.96 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 101.26 crore against gross selling of Rs 63.60 crore.

The US markets ended higher on Friday after the manufacturing PMI growth contracted to 47.1 per cent as against 49.1 per cent in January. The weak economic data bolstered hopes of interest rate cut later this year. Asian markets ended mixed on Friday ahead of China National People's Congress next week during which Beijing will announce the annual GDP growth target. Indian markets rallied on Friday to hit record highs, on better-than-expected GDP data, improved auto sales number and in-line US Inflation figures, keeping hopes of a rate cut alive. Today, markets are likely to continue their previous session's rally with positive start in Saturday special trading session tracking firm cues from Wall Street overnight. The NSE and BSE are conducting special trading session to test the preparedness and capabilities of stock exchanges BSE and NSE to handle major disruption or failure at the primary site and the ability to switch over to the disaster recovery (DR) site. This special trading session will be held in two parts. First trading will take place on the normal site from 09:15 to 10:00 AM; while for the second slot trading will be switched to its Disaster Recovery Site (DRS) to test its preparedness for any unforeseen events, from 11:30 to 12:30 noon. Fall in US Treasuries yields to support domestic markets. U.S. Treasuries yields fell sharply including two-year yields' biggest daily decline since the end of January after the manufacturing data and Waller's suggestion of the need for shorter-dated Treasuries. Foreign fund inflows likely to aid domestic sentiments. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 128.94 crore on March 1, provisional data from the NSE showed. Sentiments will get a boost as gross goods and services tax (GST) collection grew 12.54 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1.68 trillion in February. Positive consumer sentiment was also palpable through the monthly sales figures for cars and two-wheelers as both segments witnessed an annual uptick. Some support will also come as latest data by the Reserve Bank of India showed foreign exchange reserves rose by $2.9 billion to $619 billion in the week ended February 23. The total reserves rose due to an increase in foreign currency assets which increased by $2.4 billion in the week. Meanwhile, Vedanta, Coal India, and NLC India, alongside Ola Electric, Jindal Power, and the Dalmia Group, Shree Cement are participating as bidders for 20 blocks in the initial phase of the auction for critical mineral blocks in India.

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


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  • Bharti Airtel has deployed additional sites in Thrissur district to densify its network.
  • Larsen & Toubro has secured major contract from The Ministry of Defence, Government of India, for the supply of High Power Radars to the Indian Air Force.
  • Adani Enterprises has divested its 100% stake in Vizag Tech Park - a wholly owned subsidiary on February 29, 2024 to Adani Infrastructure and Developers.
  • Coal India's coal production has increased by 8.7% to 74.8 MT in February 2024 as against 68.8 MT in February 2023.

News Analysis