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NSE Intra-day chart (25 March 2021)
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Market Commentary 26 March 2021
Benchmarks to make optimistic start on firm global cues


Indian equity benchmarks ended deep in red for the second day straight on Thursday, dragged by losses in index majors Maruti Suzuki, Hindustan Unilever, Bharti Airtel and Bajaj Auto amid foreign fund outflow and a weak trend in global markets. Uncertainty in the markets continues with increasing risk arising from rising covid-19 infections in India in the context of a third wave in parts of Europe. India has registered 53,419 fresh cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking to tally to 11,787,013, according to Worldometer. The death toll from the deadly infection jumped to 160,726. India has the 7th highest number of active cases globally. However, benchmarks trimmed some of their losses in late afternoon session, as traders found some support with Fitch Ratings in its latest report has revised India's Gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimate to 12.8 percent for the next fiscal year beginning April 1 from its previous estimate of 11 percent. It also said that India's recovery from the depths of the lockdown-induced recession in 2020 (calendar year) has been swifter than expected. Some support also came with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stating that India enjoys an investment grade rating and she does not see a rating downgrade because of higher spending. She cited low inflation, higher GDP growth, record foreign investment and lower fiscal deficit to defend her government's handling of the economy. However, the selling pressure intensified in the last leg of sessions, as futures and option contracts for the month of March expired. Traders also were cautious, after India Ratings and Research said that privatisation of two public sector banks can impact their ratings as the government support to the two entities will disappear. The rating agency said the budget proposal to privatise the as yet unidentified PSBs could lead to material negative migration of the long-term issuer ratings (mapped to senior instruments such as infrastructure bonds) and the ratings on Tier 2 instruments of the identified banks. Market participants overlooked central bank chief stating that India's revival of economic activity is expected to be unabated, despite a rise in coronavirus infections in many areas and 2022 growth projections might not need to be cut. Sector wise, health sector remained in focus, as new regulator for the health sector, styled on the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), is expected to be set up soon, with Chief Economic Advisor K V Subramanian scheduled to make a presentation on the outlines of the proposal to the NITI Aayog next week. Meanwhile, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) made a case for setting up a definite time-frame for roll out of simplified GST return forms as frequent deferments are resulting in delay in stabilisation of return filing system. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 740.19 points or 1.51% to 48,440.12, while the CNX Nifty was down by 224.50 points or 1.54% to 14,324.90.


The US markets ended higher on Thursday on optimism about the US economy reopening after President Joe Biden announced a new goal of administering 200 million coronavirus vaccinations within his first 100 days in office. The new goal is double the 100 million shots in 100 days that Biden initially pledged and was reached before his 60th day in office. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 133 million Covid vaccines have been administered, with more than 14 percent of the population fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said accelerated coronavirus vaccine distribution combined with support from Congress will enable the US to reopen the economy sooner than might have been expected. Powell also said the Fed plans to gradually roll back its asset purchases as the economy makes substantial progress towards the Fed's goals of maximum employment and price stability. On the economic data front, the Labor Department released a report showing initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level since the early days of the pandemic. The report said initial jobless claims slid to 684,000 in the week ended March 20th, a decrease of 97,000 from the previous week's revised level of 781,000. Street had expected jobless claims to decline to 730,000 from the 770,000 originally reported for the previous week. With the much bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims dropped to their lowest level since hitting 282,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020. A separate report from the Commerce Department showed economic activity in the US unexpectedly grew faster than previously estimated in the fourth quarter of 2020. The report showed real gross domestic product surged up by 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the previously reported 4.1 percent jump. Street had expected the pace of GDP growth to be unrevised.


Crude oil futures ended sharply lower on Thursday weighed down by worries about the outlook for energy demand due to the extension of lockdown measures in several countries. Several countries in Europe, including Germany, France and Italy, are seeing spikes in coronavirus cases and are reportedly extending lockdown measures. Also, there are growing concerns about vaccine delays causing a dent in fuel demand. Traders largely shrugged off the Suez Canal disruptions and signs of stronger gasoline demand in the US. At least 150 vessels were said to be waiting to use the Suez Canal after a skyscraper-sized cargo ship wedged across the vital waterway, according to canal service provider Leth Agencies. Crude oil futures for May fell $2.62 or 4.3 percent to settle at $58.56 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude dropped $2.68 or 4.2 percent to settle at $61.73 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee ends lower against dollar on Thursday on emergence of demand for the greenback from importers. Besides, losses in local equity market also hit the rupee sentiment. Traders mood were dented on increasing risk arising from rising covid-19 infections in India in the context of a third wave in parts of Europe. Investors' took note of report in which Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das provided a glimpse of the challenges the central bank has been facing in creating the digital version of the rupee, and the implications it may have for financial stability going ahead. The government has proposed a bill that will allow the central bank to create its own central bank digital currency (CBDC), while banning all private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. On the global front, dollar edged up as European markets opened on Thursday, having hit a four-month high against the euro during the Asian session, as market participants focused on divergent recovery outlooks for the United States and Europe, and risk appetite waned. Finally, the rupee ended 72.62, weaker by 7 paise from its previous close of 72.55 on Wednesday.


The FIIs as per Thursday's data were net seller equity segment, while net buyer in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 5889.26 crore against gross selling of Rs 7499.03 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 2408.17 crore with gross sales of Rs 393.49 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 35.49 crore against gross selling of Rs 36.38 crore.


The US markets ended higher on Thursday as investors bought stocks likely to do well in the recovery after US President Joe Biden doubled his target for administering Covid-19 vaccines. Asian markets are trading in green on Friday tracking overnight gains on Wall Street. Indian markets fell sharply for a second straight session on Thursday as selling intensified across most sectors on concerns over the possibility of fresh restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus cases. Today, the start of session is likely to be optimistic following firm global cues. Traders will be taking encouragement with CARE Ratings' report that Indian economy will grow in the range of 11-11.2 per cent in the coming financial year. It said the high Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in FY22 will be on the back of low base effect in FY21 and broad-based recovery across the economy. Some support will come as the International Monetary Fund has said India's economy is on the path of gradual recovery, ahead of its next month's spring meeting with the World Bank. Also, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das expressed confidence that the second wave of Covid infections will not derail India's economic journey. He maintained the RBI's recent 10.5-per cent growth forecast for the coming fiscal year (2021-22, or FY22). However, there may be some cautiousness as India has registered 59,069 fresh cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours (highest daily cases since October 18, 2020), taking to tally to 11,846,082, according to Worldometer. The death toll from the deadly infection jumped to 160,983. India has the 7th highest number of active cases globally. Maharashtra today recorded the highest single-day spike of 35,952 coronavirus cases; Mumbai also recorded the highest daily count of 5,504 cases. Besides, ICRA said the rising number of COVID-19 infections in recent weeks have reignited uncertainties related to the near-term outlook. Coal stocks will be in focus amid report that The Centre has launched the second tranche of commercial coal auction after 19 mines were awarded in the first round in November 2020. Continuing the flurry of stock market debuts, today Suryoday Small Finance Bank and Kalyan Jewellers will join the stock exchanges. Suryoday SFB's Rs 582 crore IPO was subscribed 2.37 times by investors earlier last week, with Qualified Institutional Buyers, Non-Institutional Investors, and Retail investors, all oversubscribing their quota of the issue. The issue was priced at Rs 303-305 per share. The company is listing on the bourses to abide by the Reserve Bank of India's guidelines. Kalyan Jewellers' Rs 1,175 crore issue will also make its market debut today after having been subscribed 2.61 times by investors earlier this month. Meanwhile, investors will also track the Supreme Court judgement today on the cross appeals filed by Tata Sons Pvt Ltd and Cyrus Investments Pvt Ltd against the NCLAT order which had restored Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the over $100 billion salt-to-software Tata conglomerate.


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  • ICICI Bank's customers can break their high value transactions of over Rs 50,000 into suitable EMIs directly on its internet banking platform to make their purchases more affordable. 
  • Tata Motors has declared that its iconic flagship SUV, the all-new Tata Safari will be the Official Partner for VIVO Indian Premier League 2021. 
  • HDFC Bank has launched Future Skills Initiative for youth in Pune, Maharashtra under Parivartan - bank's umbrella brand for all social initiatives. 
  • TCS has declared that SGSS has successfully deployed TCS BaNCS as its next-generation, multi-entity asset servicing platform in Germany, UK, France, Ireland and Luxembourg.
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