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NSE Intra-day chart (14 March 2018)
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Market Commentary 15 March 2018
Markets likely to make negative start on weak global cues


Indian equity benchmarks pared most of their morning losses to end largely flat on Wednesday. Markets started the session on pessimistic note with report that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is unlikely to reduce key policy rates in 2018 despite a dip in retail inflation in February. Risks like the higher minimum support prices (MSPs) for food grains promised in the budget can push up the inflation in the next fiscal year. Terming it as a challenging period for the central rate setting panel, the report highlighted that the rising MSPs are a risk and once inflation starts rising from the second quarter, the apex bank would turn more hawkish. Investors also took note of a private report stating that based on the current monthly rate of Rs 87,400 crore, the street expects that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection may remain range-bound unless compliance measures improve, particularly invoice matching. The lower GST run rate poses a risk to FY19 tax collection and to fiscal deficit. Selling got extended and markets even went to test psychological 10,350 (Nifty) and 33,600 (Sensex) levels. But, key gauges witnessed recovery from thereon and pared most of their initial losses to end largely unchanged, supported by easing WPI inflation. India's inflation on wholesale level softened in the month of February, continuing its easing trend for the third straight month. According to the latest data released by the government, WPI stood at 2.48% (provisional) in February as against 2.84% (provisional) for the previous month and 5.51% during the corresponding month of the previous year. Some support also came with report highlighting that revival in rural demand, increased infrastructure spending is likely to drive India's growth in current year, even as increasing debt and trade protectionism could pose a challenge. Traders also took some solace with Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu's statement that the new industrial policy, which will be released soon, will focus on modernising existing industries, besides pushing for frontier technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence. Finally, the BSE Sensex shed 21.04 points or 0.06% to 33,835.74, while the CNX Nifty was down by 15.95 points or 0.15% to 10,410.90.


The US markets closed lower on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 and Dow industrials closing down for a third session as fears of a potential trade war resurfaced after President Donald Trump announced that his administration will seek to trim the US's trade deficit with China by $100 billion via tariffs. In addition, Larry Kudlow, the incoming director of the White House national economic council, said that China has earned a tough response from the United States and other countries on trade, even though he has previously criticized blanket tariffs. On the economy front, sales at US retailers fell in February for the third month in a row - the first time that's happened since 2012 - but the declines were small and unlikely a sign of trouble for the broader economy. The monthly decline was 0.1%. Sales rose 0.3% last month if autos and gas are stripped out, however. The decline in retail sales last month was largely concentrated in auto dealers, gas stations and traditional department stores. Sales at auto dealers fell 0.9% for the second month in a row as a post-hurricane spurt in the fall faded away. Separately, US wholesale prices rose a mild 0.2% in February, the latest sign that inflation has throttled back after flaring up in early 2018. The 12-month rate of wholesale inflation edged up to 2.8%, but it's still below a recent peak of 3.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 248.91 points or 1.00 percent to 24,758.12, Nasdaq dropped 14.201 points or 0.19 percent to 7,496.81, while the S&P 500 was down by 15.83 points or 0.57 percent to 2,749.48.


Crude oil futures edged higher on Wednesday amid contrasting U.S. oil and gasoline stockpile figures. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that crude supplies rose by 5 million barrels for the week ended March 9. However, Gasoline stockpiles dropped 6.3 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles lost 4.4 million barrels. On economic front, U.S. wholesale prices rose slightly in February, roughly in line with the tepid growth seen in consumer prices. On a monthly basis, the producer price index that measures wholesale inflation was up 0.2% following January's 0.4% increase. Retail sales were off 0.1 percent, disappointing economists looking for growth. Benchmark crude oil futures for April delivery jumped 25 cents or 0.4 percent at $60.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude gained 25 cents or 0.4 percent to settle at $64.89 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Rising for the third straight day, Indian rupee ended marginally stronger against dollar on Wednesday, owing to dollar sale by exporters and banks. Traders took support with data indicating that India's annual wholesale price inflation eased in February for the third straight month, helped by a softer rise in food and fuel prices. February WPI Inflation at 2.48% against 2.84% M-o-M basis. However, gains were limited as some concern came with a report highlighting that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is unlikely to reduce key policy rates in 2018 despite a dip in retail inflation in February. As per the report, risks like the higher minimum support prices (MSPs) for food grains promised in the budget can push up the inflation in the next fiscal year. On the global front, dollar held near one-week lows on Wednesday as the sudden dismissal of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and news that Washington is seeking to impose tariffs of up to $60 billion of Chinese imports reverberated through currency markets. Finally, the rupee ended at 64.83, 6 paise stronger from its previous close of 64.89 on Tuesday.


The FIIs as per Wednesday's data were net buyers in equity segment, while they were net sellers in debt segment, in equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 9122.69 crore against gross selling of Rs 4187.98 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 512.77 crore with gross sales of Rs 1336.15 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 54.38 crore against gross selling of Rs 54.76 crore.


The US markets closed lower on Wednesday on rumors that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by a half-point when the central bank meets next week. Anxiety over President Trump's trade war comments also rattled markets. Asian markets were trading in red on Thursday, with regional stock indexes recording slight losses after Wall Street declined amid concerns over heightened trade tensions. Indian equity markets edged lower on Wednesday tracking weak global markets, though losses remained capped as Wholesale prices climbed 2.48 percent year-over-year in February, slower than January's 2.84 percent rise. Today, the start of the session is likely to be on negative side on weak global cues and traders will be eyeing the Balance of trade figure for the month of February to be released later in the day. However, traders will get some support with World Bank stating that India's economy is expected to grow 7.3% in the next financial year and accelerate to 7.5% in 2019-20, bottoming out from the impact of demonetisation and GST, even as it highlighted private investments and exports as the two lagging engines of growth. In its biannual publication, India Development Update, the World Bank said it expected Indian economy to clock a growth rate of 6.7% in the current financial year. Moreover, The World Bank is planning to raise lending to India by about $1 billion every year for the next five years from the current $3 billion to $3.5 billion. The lending will be mainly for infrastructure projects. There will be buzz in realty sector stocks after a report stating that the market size of the Indian real estate sector is expected to reach $180 billion by 2020 with the housing sector contribution doubling to 11.2 per cent of GDP.


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  • Hero MotoCorp has commenced retail sales of the new --Passion PRO and Passion XPRO -- across markets in the country. 
  • Yes Bank has acquired 89,781,906 equity shares, constituting 17.31% of the paid-up share capital, having nominal value of Rs 10 per share of Fortis Healthcare. 
  • L&T's wholly owned subsidiary -- LTHE -- has won orders worth in excess of Rs 1600 crore across various business segments. 
  • ICICI Bank has launched an instant overdraft facility for MSMEs customers in a completely online and paperless manner.
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