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NSE Intra-day chart (16 February 2017)
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Market Commentary 17 February 2017
Markets to make a flat start on mixed global cues

Indian equity benchmarks traded with traction and settled near intraday high levels with a gain of over half a percent on Thursday, with key gauges surpassing their crucial 28,300 (Sensex) and 8,750 (Nifty) levels. Traders took encouragement with report that India's exports continued to grow for the fifth straight month, expanding by 4.32 percent to $ 22.11 billion in January against $ 21.19 billion in the same month of 2016. Imports also rose, by 10.70 percent to $ 31.95 billion, during the month under review. Some support also came after Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who in her second day of economic testimony before Congress, offered no additional insight on the timing of the central bank's next rate hike. Moreover, investors closely watched GST Council meet scheduled on February 18 and assembly elections in five states that will end on March 8. The performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party in ongoing state elections will determine if the trickle of foreign money returning to Indian stocks turns into a gush.  On the global front, European markets traded in red in early deals, as investors offload positions in risky assets amid expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates more aggressively than expected following upbeat U.S. economic data. Asian markets ended mixed, as traders opted to take profit off the table at higher levels. Back home, there was broad based buying witnessed in the markets and apart from the blue chips, the broader markets too participated strongly in the rally. On the sectoral front, IT stocks remained on buyers' radar after the industry body NASSCOM said that restrictions on H-1B visas in the US and the impact of Brexit are threatening to disrupt the growth trajectory of India's information technology sector. Buying in realty stocks too aided sentiments on reports that private equity investments in the real estate sector increased by 26 percent during 2016 and touched a nine-year high of nearly Rs 40,000 crore. Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 145.71 points or 0.52% to 28,301.27, while the CNX Nifty was up by 53.30 points or 0.61% to 8,778.00.


The US markets closed mostly lower on Thursday, weighed down by a decline in energy stocks, with the Dow industrials the only index to gain another record high at the close. Stocks, which had earlier in the session switched between small gains and losses, started settling in negative territory during President Donald Trump's news conference as he announced that a proposed replacement to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, would come in March, before any proposals on tax reform. On the economy front, the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits in mid-February rose by 5,000 to 239,000, but they remained at exceedingly low levels that reflect the resilience of a nearly eight-year-old economic recovery. New claims have registered less than 300,000 for 102 straight weeks, the longest stretch since the early 1970s. The less volatile four-week average of initial claims, meanwhile, rose by a scant 500 to 245,250. The Nasdaq was down 4.54 points or 0.08 percent to 5,814.90, S&P 500 lost 2.03 points or 0.09 percent to 2,347.22, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 7.91 points or 0.04 percent to 20,619.77. 


Crude oil futures recovered from the intraday lows to post modest gains on Thursday, following reports OPEC could extend its output-cut agreement to non-members amid concerns of a surge in U.S. crude and shale production. Although OPEC has achieved 92% compliance with a plan to shrink output, the cartel may have to increase the pace of cuts and extend the agreement beyond June. Benchmark crude oil futures for March delivery gained $0.25 or 0.5 percent to $53.36 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for March delivery ended lower by $0.04 or 0.07 percent at $55.71 on the ICE.


Indian rupee ended weaker against dollar on Thursday on account of sustained demand for dollar from banks and importers. Sentiments remained dampened with the US thinktank report stating that India ranked a dismal 143 in an annual index of economic freedom, behind its several South Asian neighbours, as progress on market-oriented reforms has been uneven. It also said that despite India sustaining an average annual growth of about 7 per cent over the past five years, growth is not deeply rooted in policies that preserve economic freedom. However, gains of local equities coupled with dollar's weakness against the basket of other major currencies limited further depreciation of Indian currency. On the global front, yen was stronger against its rival currencies on Thursday, as weakness in Tokyo stocks prompted investors to seek the perceived safety of the Japanese currency. Finally, the rupee ended at 67.07, 16 paise weaker from its previous close of 66.91 on Wednesday.


The FIIs as per Thursday's data were net buyers in equity and debt segments both. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 5551.14 crore against gross selling of Rs 5297.52 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1060.08 crore with gross sales of Rs 814.33 crore.


The US markets ended almost flat after a lackluster performance in the last session, as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following the recent run to record highs. The Asian markets have made mixed start after a rekindling of reflation trades that had been fueled by optimism that the U.S. economy can withstand higher interest rates. The Indian markets bounced back in last session supported by gain in IT stocks. Today, the start is likely to be flat-to-positive with not so bullish sentiments from the Asian peers. Traders will be getting some support with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement that situation is normal as far as remonetisation is concerned and RBI is monitoring cash position on a daily basis. Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal too has said that demonetisation of old high value currency and the government's push towards digital economy will definitely expand India's GDP. He also said that India was on the verge of a transition from a large cash economy to a less cash and digital economy. However there will be cautiousness too with domestic rating agency India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) dosen't expecting the performance of Indian companies to improve substantially in FY18. Pick-up in capital expenditure by the private sector is at least another two fiscal years away. Rise in commodity prices and uptick in interest rates amid rate hikes globally are two important risks to slow-but-improving demand for FY18. There will be some scrip specific action with change announcement of NSE's benchmark index Nifty, where BHEL and Idea will be making way for HDFC and IOC from March 31, 2017.



Support and Resistance: NSE (Nifty) and BSE (Sensex)



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  • Maruti Suzuki India has launched the Ertiga Limited Edition, a blend of style and comfort with tasteful innovation in exteriors and interiors.
  • Asian Paints' indirect subsidiary Berger International has entered into a share purchase agreement with the existing shareholders of Causeway Paints Lanka for acquisition of 100% stake in CPLPL in an all cash deal.
  • Lupin has received final US Food and Drug Administration approval for ANDA Moxifloxacin Hydrochloride Tablets, 400 mg, generic of Avlox Tablets of Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Tata Motors has entered into a partnership with Microsoft India to integrate digital practices with everyday driving in an effort to appeal to the next-generation car buyer.
  • NTPC is planning to expand into cement manufacturing with the twin objectives of utilising fly ash from its power stations and create captive demand for electricity.
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