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NSE Intra-day chart (13 March 2024)
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Market Commentary 14 March 2024
Markets likely to get negative start amid lackluster global cues

Indian equity benchmarks ended Wednesday's trading session in deep red amid selling across the sectors. Key indices started the session on a positive note amid foreign fund inflows. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 73.12 crore on March 12, provisional data from the NSE showed. Some support also came with data showing that remaining within the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) comfort zone of 6 per cent for the sixth month in a row, India's retail inflation eased to a four-month low of 5.09 per cent in February 2024. However, markets soon erased early gains and slipped into the negative zone, as traders turned cautious with data showing that growth in factory output, based on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), slowed to 3.8 per cent in January 2024, mainly due to poor performance of manufacturing, mining and power sectors. It was 5.8 in January 2023. The pace of decline intensified as the day progressed, pushing the Sensex and Nifty below psychological 72,800 and 22,000 levels respectively. Sentiments remained dampened with a report of economic think tank GTRI stating that with escalating everyday attacks and no end in sight, the Red Sea crisis will adversely impact trade volumes in substantial ways in 2024. The Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) said that rising shipping, and insurance costs and delayed arrival of shipments will continue to disrupt global value chains, squeeze margins, and make exports of many low-margin products unviable from current locations. Traders also avoided taking risk ahead of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data, which is slated to be released on tomorrow. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 906.07 points or 1.23% to 72,761.89 and the CNX Nifty was down by 338.00 points or 1.51% to 21,997.70.

The US markets ended mostly in red on Wednesday as a lack of major U.S. economic kept some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of several key reports in the coming days. On Thursday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its report on producer price inflation in the month of February, which may shed additional light on the outlook for interest rates. Producer prices are expected to rise by 0.3 percent in February, matching the increase seen in January, while the annual rate of producer price growth is expected to accelerate to 1.1 percent from 0 .9 percent. Reports on weekly jobless claims and retail sales are also due to be released on Thursday, with retail sales expected to rebound in February after slumping in January. On the sectoral front, most of the major sectors showed only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets. Energy stocks saw considerable strength, however, with a sharp increase by the price of crude oil contributing to the strength in the sector. With crude for April delivery spiking $2.16 to $79.72 a barrel, the NYSE Arca Oil Index surged by 2.3 percent and the Philadelphia Oil Service Index shot up by 1.9 percent. An increase by the price of gold also contributed to considerable strength among gold stocks, as reflected by the 2.2 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. On the other hand, semiconductor stocks showed a significant move to the downside, dragging the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down by 2.5 percent.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Wednesday after data showed an unexpected drop in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended March 8th. Data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude inventories in the U.S. dropped by 1.5 million barrels last week. Gasoline stockpiles dropped by about 5.7 million barrels last week, as against expectations for a decline of 1.9 million barrels, while distillate stocks increased by 888,000 barrels, as against expectations of a 150,000-barrel decline. Besides, supply disruptions in Russia due to continued attacks by Ukrainian drones on Russian oil refineries contributed as well the rise in oil prices. Benchmark crude oil futures for April delivery rose $2.16 or about 2.8% to settle at $79.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery surged by $2.11 or about 2.57% to $84.03 per barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

Indian rupee ended lower against the dollar on Wednesday tracking a broad-based selloff in domestic markets. Some concern came after growth in factory output, based on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), slowed to 3.8 per cent in January 2024, mainly due to poor performance of manufacturing, mining and power sectors. It was 5.8 in January 2023. Investors overlooked reports that India's retail inflation eased to a four-month low of 5.09 per cent in February 2024. On the global front, U.S. dollar index held steady on Wednesday as traders shrugged off hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation and still expected a Federal Reserve interest rate cut in June. The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) increased solidly in February, beating forecasts and suggesting some stickiness in inflation. Finally, the rupee ended at 82.84 (Provisional), weaker by 4 paise from its previous close of 82.80 on Tuesday.

The FIIs as per Wednesday's data were net sellers in equity segment, while they were net buyers in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 15245.93 crore against gross selling of Rs 15361.53 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 4114.61 crore with gross sales of Rs 1637.54 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 43.45 crore against gross selling of Rs 99.41 crore.

The US markets ended mostly in red on Wednesday as investors took profits in chipmaker stocks, while they braced for producer price data and further clues on the inflation trend ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting. Asian markets are trading mostly in green on Thursday amid reports that that strong wage hikes in Japan could see the central bank move from its ultra-easy monetary policy next week. Indian markets ended in deep red on Wednesday amid a broad-based sell-off. Today, domestic indices are likely to extend their previous session's weakness with negative start amid lack of supportive global cues. Investors will be eyeing the WPI inflation data for February to be out later in the day for more directional cues. Apart from this, there will be some volatility in the markets amid the weekly F&O expiry. Foreign fund outflows likely to dent sentiments. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net sold shares worth Rs 4,595.06 crore on March 13, provisional data from the NSE showed. There will be some cautiousness as a SBI Research report stated that India's retail inflation gauged by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is expected to remain slightly above 5 per cent till May before declining towards 3 per cent in July. The retail inflation print is expected to stay below 5 per cent beginning November till the end of the financial year 2024-25. However, traders may take note of report that NITI Aayog has proposed a series of measures to boost exports from micro, small and medium enterprises, including boosting e-commerce exports, creating a comprehensive trade portal, promoting ease of merchandise exports, improving access to export finance and creation of one stop information channel for exporters. Moreover, the market regulator is expected to put forth proposals on ease of doing business for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), alternative investment funds (AIFs) and portfolio managers, and on implementing optional T+0 settlement before its Board at its next meeting. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is to meet with its Board on March 15. There will be some buzz in the Auto stocks after the central government announced a new scheme, with a total outlay of Rs 500 crore, to promote the adoption of electric mobility in India. Sugar industry stocks will be in focus after industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) revised the sugar production estimate for 2023-24 upwards to 34 million tonnes; up by 2.9% from its earlier estimate of 33.05 million tonnes issued in January this year. There will be some reaction in edible oil industry stocks as Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) data showed that India's vegetable oils import fell 13 per cent year-on-year in February to nearly 9.75 lakh tonne. It said the import of vegetable oils (comprising edible oils and non-edible oils) during February stood at 9,74,85 tonne as compared to 11,14,481 tonne in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, Gopal Snacks will make its market debut against the issue price of Rs 401. Index major, Reliance Industries will also be in focus as it will buy Paramount Global's entire 13 per cent stake in Viacom 18 for about $517 million (Rs 4,286 crore).

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


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  • Tata Steel has inaugurated a fully automated construction service centre in Ludhiana to offer customised reinforcement products and solutions to the construction industry.
  • Reliance Industries' wholly owned subsidiary -- Reliance Ethane Holding Pte has invested $102.90 million in its three wholly owned subsidiaries - Ethane Coral LLC, Ethane Diamond LLC and Ethane Jade LLC.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank has sold 34,70,000 Equity Shares of Kfin Technologies (representing 2.03% of its paid-up share capital) in the open market.
  • Bharti Airtel has deployed additional sites in Bharuch district to densify its network.

News Analysis