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NSE Intra-day chart (15 March 2021)
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Market Commentary 16 March 2021
Benchmarks likely to open in green amid positive global cues


Indian equity benchmarks ended in the negative territory for the second straight trading session on Monday, dragged by selling in Energy, Finance and Healthcare stocks amid mixed global cues. Key gauges made negative start and stayed in red for whole day, with disappointing macro-economic data. With decline in output of capital goods, manufacturing and mining sectors, industrial production re-entered the negative territory in January. The Index of Industrial Production contracted by 1.6 percent in January 2021 over last year, compared to a rise of 1.6 percent in December. Besides, owing to higher food and fuel prices, the consumer price index (CPI) based retail inflation rose to three-month high of 5.03 per cent in February as compared to 4.06 percent in January, raising fresh concerns about the health of the economy. Some concern also came amid reports that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 7,013 crore so far this month in the Indian markets on profit-booking as jitters in global bond markets spooked investors. As per depositories data, FPIs pulled out Rs 531 crore from equities and Rs 6,482 crore from the debt segment between Mar 1-13. Sentiments remained fragile in late afternoon session, as the Wholesale price-based inflation (WPI) in February rose to its 27-month high to 4.17 percent as against 2.03 percent a month ago in January. This is a 27-month high. However, markets recovered some losses in final hour of trade, as traders found some support with Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur's statement that there are green shoots visible in various sectors of the economy and the country is already looking at a V-shaped recovery. Besides, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has said that India's power is truly represented by its sustained economic growth, which is a key to its future and critical for security reasons. He said as a fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic radical reforms were ushered in across a range of sectors and asserted that India has had the sharpest recovery among the major economies. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 397.00 points or 0.78% to 50,395.08, while the CNX Nifty was down by 101.45 points or 0.67% to 14,929.50. 


The US markets ended higher on Monday. The strength that emerged on markets reflected optimism about the economic outlook amid stepped up coronavirus vaccination efforts and the recent passage of a new $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.  A pullback by treasury yields also have generated some buying interest, with the ten-year yield moving lower after ending last Friday's trading at its highest closing level in over a year. However, trading activity was somewhat subdued as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but traders will be paying close attention to any changes to the accompanying statement. On the economic data front, a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed an acceleration in the pace of growth in New York manufacturing activity in the month of March. The New York Fed said its general business conditions index climbed to 17.4 in March from 12.1 in February, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Street had expected the index to rise to 14.5. With the bigger than expected increase, the general business conditions index reached its highest level since hitting 21.2 in November of 2018. The advance by the headline index was partly due to a substantial acceleration in the pace of growth in shipments, with the shipments index jumping to 21.1 in March from 4.0 in February.


Crude oil futures ended lower on Monday with traders weighing energy demand prospects in the wake of reports about spikes in coronavirus cases in Europe, and reports about several countries temporarily suspending the use of the vaccine from AstraZeneca. Oil prices fell despite China's industrial output and retail sales surged in the first two months of the year, boosting the energy demand outlook at the world's largest oil importer. Industrial production in China jumped 35.1% year-on-year in the period including January and February - beating forecasts for an increase of 30%. Crude oil futures for April slipped $0.22 or about 0.3 percent to settle at $65.39 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude fell $0.45 or 0.65 percent to settle at $68.77 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Continuing previous session gains, Indian rupee ended significantly higher against dollar, on persistent selling of the American currency by exporters. Rupee was traded higher despite industrial production growth re-entered the negative territory by contracting by 1.6 per cent in January, while retail inflation soared to a three-month high of 5.03 per cent in February on costlier food items. Also, Wholesale price-based inflation (WPI) in February rose to its 27-month high to 4.17 percent as against 2.03 percent a month ago in January. Traders ignored report that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 7,013 crore so far this month in the Indian markets on profit-booking as jitters in global bond markets spooked investors. On the global front, dollar gained for a second consecutive session on Monday as rising U.S. Treasury yields forced traders to cut their bearish dollar bets to four-month lows. Finally, the rupee ended at 72.46, stronger by 33 paise from its previous close of 72.79 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 12221.30 crore against gross selling of Rs 8329.98 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 144.56 crore with gross sales of Rs 692.73 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 23.02 crore against gross selling of Rs 30.94 crore.


The US markets ended higher on Monday amid optimism over the economic reopening. Asian markets are trading mostly in green on Tuesday ahead of this week's US Federal Reserve meeting. Indian markets trimmed some intra-day losses but ended lower on Monday as US bond yields continued to hover near their 13-month peak coupled with disappointing macro-economic data. Today, the start of session is likely to be positive tracking gains in Asian peers coupled with overnight rally in US markets. Some support will come with the government data showing that the country's exports rose marginally by 0.67 per cent year-on-year to $27.93 billion in February, Growing for the third consecutive month, even as trade deficit widened to $12.62 billion. Imports rose by 6.96 per cent to $40.54 billion in the month. Traders may take note of report that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers on the Covid-19 situation and the ongoing vaccination drive on Wednesday as the Centre looks to ramp up the inoculation exercise amid a rise in infection in some states. However, traders may be concerned as India reported 24,366 fresh Covid-19 cases on Monday pushing the overall tally to 11,409,524, according to Worldometer. The death toll from the deadly infection jumped to 158,892. India ranks 11th among worst-hit nations by active cases. Maharashtra reported 15,051 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the state's caseload to 23,29,464, while 48 fatalities took the death toll to 52,909. There may be some cautiousness with the government's statement that Cinema halls, hotels, restaurants and offices except those related to health and essential services in Maharashtra will function at 50 percent capacity till March 31. Oil & gas sector stocks will be in focus as finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at present, there is no proposal to bring crude petroleum, petrol, diesel, ATF and natural gas under GST. Banking operations were severely hit in some places like West Bengal as officers and employees of public sector lenders went on a strike to protest against the proposed privatisation of two state-owned banks. There will be some reaction in aviation industry stocks with ICRA's report that the domestic airport sector is expected to incur a net loss of Rs 5,400 crore, and cash loss of Rs 3,500 crore in FY21, impacted by a 66 per cent year-on-year slip in passenger traffic amid COVID-19 induced travel restrictions. Meanwhile, Kalyan Jewellers India Ltd on Monday raised Rs 352 crore from anchor investors ahead of its initial share-sale, which opens for public subscription on Tuesday. The issue, with a price band of Rs 86-87 a share, will open be open for public subscription during March 16-18.


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  • Axis Bank has entered into definitive agreements with Fettle Tone LLP and the other partners of Fettle Tone LLP on March 12, 2021. 
  • Tech Mahindra has acquired 70% stake in Perigord Asset Holdings, a digital workflow and artwork, labelling and BPO services firm.
  •  NTPC has partnered with Archery Association of India, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility. 
  • L&T has recruited 22 per cent women at trainee level across its major businesses in 2020, up 8 per cent over the previous year.
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