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NSE Intra-day chart (08 March 2023)
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Market Commentary 09 March 2023
Benchmarks likely to get cautious start amid mixed global cues


Indian equity benchmarks erased all of their initial losses to end in green on Wednesday propped up by robust fag-end buying in Utilities, Power and Capital Goods stocks. Markets made a negative start and stayed in red for most part of the day as traders got anxious amid a private report stating that like all emerging markets that rely upon the rest of the world for commodities and capital, India has spent the last two years battling the twin challenges posed by more expensive raw materials and a stronger dollar. A weak rupee against major rivals overseas weighed on market sentiment and restricted gains. Selling further crept in during afternoon deals, even as exchange data showing that Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net buyers in capital markets as they bought shares worth Rs 721.37 crore on Monday. However, recovery took place in last leg of trade and markets cut all of their initial losses. Traders took some support with Moody's Analytics' statement that India's domestic economy, rather than trade, is its primary engine of growth and the slowdown in economic activity late last year will only be temporary. Some support also came as Finance Ministry data showed that there has been a rise of 133 per cent in collection of major cess and surcharges levied by the Central government on various products during the five-year period between 2017-18 and 2022-23, as it went up from Rs 2,18,553 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 5,10,549 crore in 2022-23. Finally, the BSE Sensex rose 123.63 points or 0.21% to 60,348.09 and the CNX Nifty was up by 42.95 points or 0.24% to 17,754.40.


The US markets ended mostly in green on Wednesday amid the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, with the report indicating overall economic activity in the U.S. increased slightly in early 2023. However, the choppy trading on markets reflected uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following Tuesday's sell-off, which reflected renewed concerns about the outlook for interest following remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Traders have been reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of the closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday. Street currently expects employment to jump by 203,000 jobs in February after surging by 517,000 jobs in January, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.4 percent. The jobs data could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates, as the Fed has warned about labor market tightness. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit saw a modest increase in the month of January, according to a report released by the Commerce Department. The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $68.3 billion in January from a revised $67.2 billion in December. Street had expected the trade deficit to climb to $68.9 billion from the $67.4 billion originally reported for the previous month.


Crude oil futures ended lower, extending losses from the previous session, as fears that more aggressive U.S. interest rate hikes would pressure economic growth.  Oil price fell despite data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. Data released by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude stockpiles in the U.S. fell for the first time last week after rising for 10 straight weeks. The EIA data showed crude inventories in U.S. dropped by 1.694 million barrels last week versus expectations for an increase of 0.395 million barrels. Benchmark crude oil futures for April delivery fell $0.92 or 1.2 percent to $76.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery dropped $0.63 or 0.8 percent to $82.66 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee tumbled against dollar on Wednesday as a strong dollar in the overseas market weighed on investor sentiments. Traders worried about future interest rate hikes. Besides, a private report stated that like all emerging markets that rely upon the rest of the world for commodities and capital, India has spent the last two years battling the twin challenges posed by more expensive raw materials and a stronger dollar. On the global front, dollar scaled multi-month highs against most other major currencies on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that U.S. interest rates might need to go up even faster and higher than expected to rein in stubborn inflation. Finally, the rupee ended at 82.03 (Provisional), weaker by 11 paise from its previous close of 81.92 on Monday.


The FIIs as per Wednesday's data were net buyers in both equity and debt segments. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 7035.67 crore against gross selling of Rs 6169.63 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 207.78 crore against gross selling of Rs 149.10 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 13.56 crore against gross selling of Rs 10.44 crore.


The US markets ended mostly higher on Wednesday as the US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reaffirmed his adherence to a higher size of rate hike in his second day of testimony to Congress. Asian markets are trading mixed on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said during a second day of congressional testimony that policymakers hadn't yet made up their minds on the size of the interest-rate increase later this month. Indian markets extended the winning run to a third session day on Wednesday, as fag-end buying in banking, financial and oil stocks helped the indices rebound from early lows amid a bearish trend in global equity markets. Today, markets likely to get cautious start on weekly F&O expiry amid muted sentiment in the global markets as traders bet on rising rate concerns. Traders will be concerned as pencilling in just 4 per cent GDP growth for the fourth quarter, India Ratings said the final growth numbers for the full year will be lower than the second advance estimate of 7 per cent. Traders may take note of report that capital markets regulator Sebi has imposed restrictions on the placement of bids, price and volume for the companies undertaking share buyback through the stock exchange route. However, foreign fund inflows likely to support domestic sentiments. Foreign institutional investors (FII) bought shares worth Rs 3,671.56 crore on March 8, the National Stock Exchange's provisional data showed. Meanwhile, U.S.-led international sanctions on Russia have begun to erode the dollar's decades-old dominance of international oil trade as most deals with India - Russia's top outlet for seaborne crude - have been settled in other currencies. Insurance industry stocks will be in focus with report that life insurance companies have reported a 17 per cent year-on-year (YOY) drop in new business premiums (NBP) in February, as state-owned insurer Life Insurance Corporation (LIC)'s premiums contracted by 32 per cent. Adani Group stocks may come under selling pressure once again after its promoters pledged additional shares with SBI Trustee and the National Stock Exchange imposed additional surveillance mechanism framework for Adani Enterprises, Adani Power and Adani Wilmar.


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