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NSE Intra-day chart (22 March 2024)
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Market Commentary 26 March 2024
Benchmarks likely to get negative start amid rising crude oil prices

Indian equity benchmarks ended higher for the third straight session on Friday, following gains in index majors Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma and Titan Company. While most sectors experienced gains, the IT remained in the red due to subdued guidance from Accenture, a major global IT player. Markets opened on weak note as traders were anxious with provisional data from the NSE showing that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net sold shares worth Rs 1,826.97 crore on March 21. Some concern also came with a private report that private equity and venture capital investments declined to $2.2 billion in February, 39 per cent down when compared with the year-ago period's $3.7 billion.  However, shrugging off early weakness, equity markets rebounded soon and held their gains throughout the day, as traders found solace with Amitabh Kant, former chief executive officer of NITI Aayog and India's G20 Sherpa stating that India must aim to accelerate its pace of growth to 9-10 per cent over a three-decade period. Kant emphasised India's potential to outpace Japan and Germany, projecting it to become the world's third-largest economy by 2027. Markets added some gains in late afternoon deals, taking support from a survey conducted by industry body FICCI and banking association Indian Banks' Association (IBA) showing that the health of the Indian banking sector continues to improve with better asset quality and high credit growth. The eighteenth round of the survey was carried out for the period July to December 2023. Additionally, the retreat of crude oil prices from recent highs contributed to the positive sentiment. But, profit taking in the final hour trimmed some gains. Finally, the BSE Sensex rose 190.75 points or 0.26% to 72,831.94 and the CNX Nifty was up by 84.80 points or 0.39% to 22,096.75.

The US markets ended in red on Monday after a private report said China has introduced new guidelines to phase microprocessors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) out of government PCs and servers. Intel climbed well off its worst levels but still slumped by 1.7 percent, while AMD ended the day down by 0.6 percent. weakness among technology stocks weighed on the markets early in the session. Traders seemed reluctant to make more significant moves ahead of the release of some key economic data in the coming days. Traders were keep an eye on reports on durable goods orders, consumer confidence and pending home sales, although a report on personal income and spending that includes readings on inflation said to be preferred by the Fed will be released when the markets are closed for Good Friday. On the economic data front, the Commerce Department released a report showing new home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of February. The report said new home sales dipped by 0.3 percent to an annual rate of 662,000 in February after jumping by 1.7 percent to a revised rate of 664,000 in January. Street had expected new home sales to surge by 2.9 percent to a rate of 680,000 from the 661,000 originally reported for the previous month. On the sectoral front, despite the modest weakness shown by the broader markets, airline stocks showed a strong move to the upside on the day, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index climbing by 1.5 percent. Oil service stocks also saw considerable strength amid a sharp increase by the price of crude oil, driving the Philadelphia Oil Service Index up by 1.2 percent to a five-month closing high.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Monday amid concerns about supply disruptions after Ukraine continued to attack Russian refineries, and Moscow's directive to cut outputs to be in line with OPEC+ targets. Further, a weak dollar amid expectations of interest rate cuts by central banks contributed as well to the rise in oil prices. Besides, Israel's war on Hamas and Yemen's Houthi militants attack in the Red Sea route also continue to cause concerns about global oil supplies. Benchmark crude oil futures for May delivery surged $1.32 or about 1.64% to settle at $81.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery rose by $1.32 or about 1.55% to $86.75 per barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

Indian rupee ended lower against the US dollar on Friday, weighed down by broad weakness in its Asian peers and aggressive local dollar demand. During the trading, rupee hit lowest level on record. Some cautiousness came in with a private report that Private equity and venture capital investments declined to $2.2 billion in February, 39 per cent down when compared with the year-ago period's $3.7 billion. On the global front, the U.S. dollar was set for a second week of broad gains on Friday, with even a rate hike in Japan unable to halt its march, and a surprise cut in Switzerland highlighting the gap between the Federal Reserve and global peers in interest rate settings. Besides, rouble weakened on Friday, showing limited reaction to a widely expected rate hold at 16% by the central bank and struggling to latch on to support from high oil prices and favourable month-end taxes. Finally, the rupee ended at 83.62 (Provisional), weaker by 49 paise from its previous close of 83.13 on Thursday.

The FIIs as per Friday'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 14475.77 crore against gross selling of Rs 15802.73 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1919.77 crore with gross sales of Rs 978.46 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 36.40 crore against gross selling of Rs 31.15 crore.

The US markets ended lower on Monday as investors gauged the likely path of interest rates from the Federal Reserve ahead of key inflation data due later in this holiday-shortened week. Asian markets are trading mixed in early deals on Tuesday following weak cues from the US markets overnight. Indian equity markets ended higher for the third straight session on Friday on account of hectic buying in Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma, Titan Company and ITC. Domestic equity markets were closed on Monday on account of Holi. Today, markets are likely to make negative start on weak cues from US markets overnight. Rising crude oil prices likely to put pressure domestic sentiments.  Traders may be cautious as the latest payroll data released by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) said  the formal labour market in January experienced a slowdown as fewer fresh jobs were created during the month. In January 2024, the number of new monthly subscribers under the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) declined by nearly 4 per cent to 807,865 from 840,584 in December 2023. Further, foreign fund outflows likely to dampen sentiments in the markets. Provisional data from the NSE showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net sold shares worth Rs 3,309.76 crore on March 22. There may be some cautiousness in the markets as Ministry of Finance has warned the ongoing crisis along the Red Sea shipping route poses a risk to 80 percent of India's goods trade with Europe and could lead to higher inflation and lower growth in India due to rising transport costs. However, some respite may come in later in the day as the finance ministry said with an uptick in private investment and inflation trending down, India's outlook for the next fiscal looks positive. It said that inclusion of Indian bonds in Bloomberg bond index from January 2025 should bolster inflows. It said robust investment activity is driving growth amid a steady rise in consumption. Some support may come in as the Reserve Bank said India's forex reserves increased by $6.396 billion to $642.492 billion for the week ended March 15. In the previous reporting week, the overall reserves had risen by $10.47 billion to $636.095 billion.

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  • 1095.90

  • HCL Technologies has received two new Microsoft Azure specializations for its portfolio of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions.
  • Dr. Reddy's Laboratories has entered into a license agreement with Pharmazz, Inc.
  • Bajaj Finance has raised Rs 395.01 crore through the allotment of 39,500 Secured Redeemable NCDs, at face value of Rs 1 Lakh each, on private placement basis.
  • UltraTech Cement has commissioned 1 MTPA brownfield cement capacity at Roorkee, Uttarakhand taking the Unit's capacity to 2.1 MTPA.

News Analysis