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NSE Intra-day chart (20 March 2023)
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Market Commentary 21 March 2023
Markets to make optimistic start on firm global cues


Indian equity benchmarks ended with losses, however, at off day's low points on Monday. Key gauges made a negative start and roiled in global rout for better part of the day as fears of a contagion banking sector failure soured sentiment. Traders were concerned with former Union finance minister P Chidambaram's statement that India is growing but the sequential quarter growth is declining and the economy is losing steam. Some cautiousness came in as the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) statistical supplement showed India's foreign exchange reserves fell to $560 billion as of the week ended March 10, their lowest since early-December. Sentiments remained down-beat as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor -- Shaktikanta Das has cautioned banks against any build-up of asset-liability mismatches, saying both are detrimental to financial stability and hinted that the ongoing crisis in the US banking system seems to have emanated from such mismatches. However, fag-end buying in FMCG stocks along with positive cues from European markets lifted benchmark indices sharply off lows, helping them recoup more than half of their intra-day losses. Traders found some respite as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revised upwards its growth estimate for India by 20 basis points to 5.9 per cent for FY24. Some support also came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India's economic and banking system are strong even amid the turmoil currently rocking global markets. Traders took a note of report that India and the European Union (EU) concluded the fourth round of talks for a comprehensive free trade agreement in Brussels, a move aimed at further strengthening economic ties between the two sides. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 360.95 points or 0.62% to 57,628.95 and the CNX Nifty was down by 111.65 points or 0.65% to 16,988.40.


The US markets ended higher on Monday as traders grew hopeful that a crisis in the banking sector may be easing. The strength on markets partly reflected a positive reaction to the latest efforts to address turmoil in the banking sector, including UBS Group's (UBS) state-backed acquisition of Credit Suisse (CS). U.S.-listed shares of UBS jumped by 3.3 percent following the news it will acquire its troubled rival for 3 billion Swiss francs, or $3.2 billion. However, Credit Suisse plummeted by 53.0 percent. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve announced it has joined with other central banks around to world to take coordinated action to enhance the provision of liquidity via the standing U.S. dollar liquidity swap line arrangements. The central banks currently offering U.S. dollar operations have agreed to increase the frequency of 7-day maturity operations from weekly to daily in order to improve the swap lines' effectiveness in providing U.S. dollar funding. On the sectoral front, oil service stocks showed a substantial move back to the upside, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index spiking by 3.0 percent after ending last Friday's trading at a five-month closing low. The rally by oil service stocks came as the price of crude oil for April delivery showed a notable recovery after seeing early weakness. Significant strength was also visible among tobacco stocks, as reflected by the 2.3 percent surge by the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index. Steel, chemical and natural gas stocks also saw considerable strength on the day, while software stocks showed a notable move to the downside.


Crude oil futures ended higher on Monday after diving to their lowest levels in 15 months amid turmoil in the banking sector. Oil prices rose with a weak dollar triggering some buying as the session progressed. The dollar eased with investors looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points. Benchmark crude oil futures for April delivery rose $0.90 or 1.4 percent to $67.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for May delivery gained $0.73 or 1 percent to $73.70 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee ended lower against the US dollar on Monday tracking negative sentiments in the domestic as well as global equity markets. Traders got concerned after Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) statistical supplement showed India's foreign exchange reserves fell to $560 billion as of the week ended March 10, their lowest since early-December. Meanwhile, Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said India is growing but the sequential quarter growth is declining and the economy is losing steam. On the global front, Japan's yen rallied on Monday as investors sought out safe assets after UBS' cut-price takeover of its beleaguered rival Credit Suisse failed to quell market nerves. Finally, the rupee ended at 82.63 (Provisional), weaker by 4 paise from its previous close of 82.59 on Friday.


The FIIs as per Monday's data were net sellers in equity segment, while net buyers in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 18823.33 crore against gross selling of Rs 20522.02 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 885.73 crore against gross selling of Rs 174.79 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 34.92 crore against gross selling of Rs 52.74 crore.


The US markets ended higher on Monday after a deal to rescue Credit Suisse and central bank efforts to bolster confidence in the financial system relieved investors, while participants also weighed the likelihood of a pause in rate hikes from the Federal Reserve this week. Asian markets are trading in green on Tuesday after markets on Wall Street staged a relief rally on the hopes that the banking crisis is easing, following the $3.2 billion takeover of Swiss bank Credit Suisse by rival UBS. Indian markets off their day's lows and ended lower with over half a percent cut on Monday amid concerns that a bigger crisis is brewing in the global financial system. Today, the markets are likely to get positive start amid firm global cues. Traders will be taking encouragement as the Finance Ministry said Indian economy is expected to grow at 7 per cent in FY23 despite global headwinds while retail inflation would moderate in line with wholesale inflation which fell to a 25-month low in January. Monthly Economic Review by the ministry said supported by the gains from high services exports, the moderation in oil prices, and the recent fall in import-intensive consumption demand, India's current account deficit is estimated to fall in FY23 and FY24, providing a buffer to the rupee in uncertain times. However, foreign fund outflows may dent sentiments in the domestic markets. the National Stock Exchange's provisional data showed foreign institutional investors (FII) sold shares worth Rs 2,545.87 crore on March 20. Some cautiousness may come as fresh formal job creation declined for the second straight month in January, falling to a 20-month low, signalling pressure in the job market. The latest payroll data released by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) showed that the number of new monthly subscribers under the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) has declined by 7.5 per cent to 777,232 in January 2023 from 840,372 in December 2022. There will be some buzz in the aviation industry stocks with report that during January-February of this year, domestic airlines carried 2.46 crore passengers as against 1.41 crore in the corresponding period of 2022, thereby registering an annual growth of 74.50 per cent and monthly growth of 56.82 per cent. According to data published by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), nearly 1.21 crore passengers were carried by the domestic airlines in February as against 76.96 lakh in the same period last year. Oil & gas industry stocks will be in focus with report that the Centre slashed the windfall tax on locally-produced crude oil to Rs 3,500 per tonne from Rs 4,400 per tonne earlier. However, it hiked the export duty on diesel from Rs 0.50 per litre to Rs 1 per litre. Banking stocks will be in limelight with report that the government has taken various reforms following which asset quality of public sector banks has improved significantly with gross NPA ratio declining from the peak of 14.6 per cent in March 2018 to 5.53 per cent in December 2022.


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  • NTPC has been allowed by the central government to invest more than the ceiling of 30 per cent of its net worth in its subsidiary NTPC Green Energy. 
  • HDFC Bank has received approval from NCLT for merger of HDFC, HDFC Investments and HDFC Holdings with itself. 
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation has launched EV Fast-Charging stations on six highways in Western India. 
  • Mahindra & Mahindra has completed the acquisition of 1,38,589 Equity Shares of Rs 10 each of M.I.T.R.A. Agro Equipments.
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