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NSE Intra-day chart (15 January 2024)
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Market Commentary 16 January 2024
Markets likely to open in red on weak Asian cues

Rising for the fifth day in a row, Indian equity benchmarks ended at fresh record closing highs on Monday, fuelled by the strong performance of information technology (IT) stocks, particularly Wipro and HCL Technologies. Markets started the week on an upbeat note and stayed in green for whole day as traders took support with commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal's statement that there is great excitement about India globally and the country stands at a crucial juncture, ready to catapult into a $35-trillion economy in the next 24 years, marking an era of unprecedented growth. Some support also came with private report stating that India is expected to clock a GDP growth in the range of 6.9-7.2 per cent in the current financial year on the back of improving economic fundamentals. Traders also took a note of SBI Research's report stating that retail inflation in India is unlikely to come down much but is expected to hold at nearly the same level in the January-March 2024 quarter. Once the CPI comes under control for fruits, vegetables, spices, and cereals, headline inflation is expected to drastically reduce to come near the mid-point of the RBI inflation target of 4 per cent. Key gauges continued their upward movement in late afternoon deals, as sentiments were further supported by the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai's statement that India and the United States have agreed to bolster trade ties and deepen cooperation in areas such as critical minerals. Sentiments remained positive amid a private report stating that net inflows into exchange traded funds (ETFs) tracking Indian stocks hit a record high in 2023, with investors may continue to buy into the world's fastest-growing major economy even as keenly watched general elections loom. Traders paid no heed towards data showing that inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) surged to a nine-month high of 0.73 percent in December 2023 as against 0.26 percent in November 2023, due to increase in prices of electricity, machinery & equipment, pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical & botanical products and electrical equipment. Finally, the BSE Sensex rose 759.49 points or 1.05% to 73,327.94 and the CNX Nifty was up by 202.90 points or 0.93% to 22,097.45.

The US markets were closed on Monday on account of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.

Indian rupee ended higher on Monday, driven by a rally in the domestic equity markets. Markets participants ignored report that inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) surged to a nine-month high of 0.73 percent in December 2023 as against 0.26 percent in November 2023, due to increase in prices of electricity, machinery & equipment, pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemical & botanical products and electrical equipment. Meanwhile, the index of industrial production (IIP) grew by a meagre 2.4 per cent in November compared to 11.7 per cent in October. On the other hand, the Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based retail inflation slightly rose to 5.69 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) in December from 5.55 per cent in November. On the global front, dollar ebbed on Monday as investors revived their bets of early rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, while the yuan fell to a one-month low after China's central bank surprised markets by keeping its medium-term policy rate steady. Finally, the rupee ended at 82.86 (Provisional), stronger by 9 paise from its previous close of 82.95 on Friday.

The FIIs as per Monday'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 11076.76 crore against gross selling of Rs 11507.49 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 3094.45 crore with gross sales of Rs 481.62 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 66.73 crore against gross selling of Rs 24.37 crore.

The US markets remain closed on Monday due to the Martin Luther King holiday. Asian markets are trading mostly in red on Tuesday ahead of key economic data from China. Indian markets ended at fresh record highs on Monday, as information technology stocks-driven rally bolstered sentiment. Today, markets are likely to open in red tracking weakness in Asian counterparts. The record-breaking rally may get tested on geopolitical fears as Yemen's Houthis struck a US ship in the Red Sea in response to air strikes on their targets. Reactions to the December quarter earnings will continue to guide the markets. However, foreign fund inflows likely to aid sentiments. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,085.72 crore after consistent selling in previous four consecutive sessions on January 15, provisional data from the NSE showed. Some support may come as India's trade deficit in December narrowed to a three-month low of $19.8 billion amid an import slowdown due to falling commodity prices. Data released by the commerce department showed that merchandise exports during the month grew 0.97 per cent over a year earlier to $38.45 billion, contrary to the trend of a slowdown so far this financial year. Merchandise imports, meanwhile, grew 8.45 per cent to $58.25 billion, boosted by gold imports. Besides, Moody's Investors Service said the strength of the next government's mandate following parliamentary elections this year will influence the medium-term trajectory for fiscal consolidation and governance in India. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) draft norms for self-regulatory organisations for the fintech sector (SRO-FT) have proposed that such entities should have a robust IT infrastructure and the ability to deploy technological solutions within a reasonable timeframe. Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) will be in focus as the Reserve Bank of India decided to align HFCs with the same regulatory regime on deposit acceptance as currently applicable to deposit-taking NBFCs. It has proposed that all deposit-taking HFCs need to maintain liquid assets equivalent to 15 per cent of public deposits held by them. There will be some reaction in oil & gas sector stocks India cut its windfall tax on petroleum crude to 1,700 rupees ($20.53) a tonne from 2,300 rupees a tonne. The cut will be effective from January 16. Meanwhile, Shares of Jyoti CNC will debut on the bourses today. The issue price is Rs 331.

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  • Reliance Industries' step down wholly owned subsidiary -- REC Solar Holdings AS has entered into SPA with Elkem ASA for sale of its 100% equity stake in REC Norway for $22 million.
  • Bajaj Finserv's subsidiary -- Bajaj Markets has partnered with Ujjivan Small Finance Bank to offer the Bank's fixed deposits and earn up to 8.25% interest and an additional 0.50% interest for senior citizens.
  • NTPC's wholly owned subsidiary -- NTPC Green Energy has signed the MoUs with Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation and Gujarat Pipavav Port for the development of green hydrogen projects in Gujarat.
  • HCL Technologies has reported 6.23% rise in its consolidated net profit at Rs 4,351 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2023 as compared to Rs 4,096 crore for the same quarter in the previous year.

News Analysis