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NSE Intra-day chart (29 December 2017)
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Market Commentary 01 January 2018
Year 2018 likely to see a cautious start

Indian equity benchmarks ended the final session of Calendar Year (CY) 2017 on strong note and frontline gauges settled at all time closing high levels, surpassing their crucial 10,500 (Nifty) and 34,000 (Sensex) levels. The markets' mood remained up-beat throughout the day and benchmarks, after a positive start, fervently gained from strength to strength to end near all time high levels, as investors continued hunt for fundamentally strong stocks. Traders remained encouraged with Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) decision to relax entry norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) willing to invest in the Indian markets. Besides, the markets regulator would allow listing of security receipts issued by an asset reconstruction company (ARC) on stock exchange platform. Some support also came with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's statement that the government is working on a policy to bring down the annual oil import bill by $100 billion by 2030 through extensive use of methanol in cooking gas and transportation fuel. The minster added that the government is shortly going to implement a scheme under which 15 percent methanol will be blended with petrol and which will reduce the cost of the fuel by 10 percent. Traders shrugged off study report of the industry body Assocham, which has said that a slowdown in the economy coupled with high stress level in the banking sector is expected to restrict credit growth at around 8 percent during the current fiscal despite government's thrust on loan expansion. Traders also ignored rating agency ICRA's statement that rising commodity prices, especially that of crude oil that has hit a three-year peak last week, will double current account deficit (CAD) to $39 billion or 1.5 percent of GDP this fiscal year. Market participants also paid no heed towards Finance minister Arun Jaitley's statement that the direct tax collection stood at Rs 6.48 lakh crore up to December 18, which is below the Budget estimates of Rs 9.8 lakh crore. Indirect tax collection (excluding GST collection) was at Rs 3.66 crore and the same including GST collection at Rs 7.3 lakh crore, which is below the Budget estimates of Rs 9.27 lakh crore. Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 208.80 points or 0.62% to 34,056.83, while the CNX Nifty was up by 52.80 points or 0.50% to 10,530.70


The US markets closed lower on Friday, putting a negative tinge to an otherwise positive year as selling accelerated in the final minutes of a thinly traded session. Some of the selling followed on report that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea in recent months, a development that could add another element of geopolitical uncertainty to markets, particularly given the strained relations between the US and Moscow in 2017. All three major averages ended lower for the week but closed higher for the month of December. There were no major economic data releases on Friday. More broadly, expectations are growing that President Donald Trump's administration will shift attention to a $1 trillion infrastructure-spending bill, which could deliver a further jolt to Wall Street buying after Republicans passed the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax code in 30 years as well as a stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded into early 2018. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 118.29 points or 0.48 percent to 24,719.22 and the Nasdaq dropped 46.771 points or 0.67 percent to 6,903.39, and the S&P 500 edged lower by 13.93 points or 0.52 percent to 2,673.61.


Crude oil futures surged on Friday to close above $60 a barrel on the final trading day of the year, the first time since mid-2015. Traders largely shrugged off the news that Libya's damaged pipeline will get back online in January. Traders assessed Baker Hughes data showing the U.S. rig count remained flat week, and Canadian rigs dropped sharply. Libya is to start repairing the pipeline near the Es Sider terminal this weekend, while the Forties pipeline was already pumping close to normal levels. Meanwhile, Baker Hughes showed the North American oil rig count, an early indicator of future output, remained unchanged at 747. Benchmark crude oil futures for January delivery ended higher by $0.58 or 1% at $60.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for March delivery was up by 0.68 percent to $66.61 a barrel on the ICE.


Extending its previous session's gains, Indian rupee concluded last trading session of Calendar Year (CY) 2017 on an upbeat note on Friday, as exporters and banks intensified selling of the US currency. Rupee throughout the day remained positive, taking support with a private report that consumer confidence in India is likely to remain high over the next six months with a very optimistic outlook. Some comfort was also came with Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI's) decision to relax entry norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) willing to invest in the Indian markets. Besides, good going in the local equity markets, also aided the local currency to gain more ground. On the global front, dollar slipped to its lowest in more than three months against a basket of major currencies on Friday, as the euro and sterling climbed, putting the greenback on track for an almost 10 percent fall over the year - its worst showing since 2003.  Finally, the rupee ended at 63.87, 21 paise stronger from its previous close of 64.08 on Thursday.


The FIIs as per Friday'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 5527.12 crore against gross selling of Rs 4666.78 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 488.37 crore with gross sales of Rs 609.68 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 10.88 crore against gross selling of Rs 17.92 crore.


The US markets made a lower closing of the final trading day of the year, but were sharply higher for the year; the decline was mainly due to investors deciding to do some profit taking following the strong upward move seen in 2017. Most of the major Asian markets are closed for trading today. The Indian markets snapped the year 2017 on a jubilant note with benchmarks posting gains of over half a percent on the final trading day of the year. Today, the start of the new, week, month and year is likely to be a bit cautious lacking any supportive triggers. There will be some concern with fiscal deficit at the end of November breaching the target and touching 112 percent of the budget estimate for 2017-18, mainly due to lower GST collections and higher expenditure. Fiscal deficit was Rs 6.12 lakh crore during April-November 2017-18. Traders will also be concerned with government statement that Indian economy slowed down in 2016-17, with the gross domestic product declining drastically from 8 percent in 2015-16 to 7.1 percent the next year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the slower economic growth reflected lower growth in the industry and the services sectors, due to a number of factors including structural, external, fiscal and monetary factors. However, there will be some support with report that the government has extended by 10 days the last date for filing of final sales return GSTR-1 till January 10 under the Goods and Services Tax. Businesses with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore will have to file GSTR-1 for July-September by January 10, 2018, as against December 31, 2017 earlier. Meanwhile, auto stocks will be in focus today, on declaring their monthly sales number for December.


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  • Reliance Industries' subsidiary - Reliance Jio Infocomm has inked a definitive agreement for the acquisition of specified assets of Reliance Communications and its affiliates.
  • SBI has introduced a special leave for employees who have suffered bereavement in the family.
  • ONGC has organized cyclothon in six metro cities to create awareness on fuel conservation as well as protection of environment.
  • IOC would initiate production of second generation ethanol by utilizing crop residues and other biomass as feedstock at village Baoli in Panipat district of Haryana.


News Analysis