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NSE Intra-day chart (17 March 2017)
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Market Commentary 20 March 2017
Markets to make a soft-to-cautious start of new week

Friday's trading session was clearly of consolidation as the Indian benchmark indices appeared a bit fatigued and remained in tight range throughout the day. Nevertheless, the benchmarks managed to extend the winning momentum for the second consecutive day of trade as local sentiments got a boost after the goods and services tax (GST) council on Thursday gave its nod to the two remaining pieces of supporting legislation for implementing the landmark tax reform, paving the way for their introduction in Parliament and state legislatures. The council's approval for the state GST and Union territory GST bills marks an important step in India's journey towards creating a unified market and is critical to meeting the deadline of July 1 for GST implementation. Adding optimism among investors, HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh said the GST regime can push up the country's growth by as much as 150-200 basis points (bps). India's GDP for the third quarter ended in December 2016 recorded a growth of 7%. The estimate of GDP growth for the full fiscal 2016-17 is 7.1%. Meanwhile, IT stocks, which get bulk of their revenues from exports to the US, edged higher after Indian rupee, snapping its four-session long gains, fell 24 paise to 65.65 against the dollar on Friday. Also, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said the government had voiced its concern regarding the H1-B visa issue to the US and added that Indians do not steal but create jobs. Further, cigarette stocks such as ITC surged after the GST Council capped the cess on tobacco and cigarettes at 290% or Rs 4,170 per 1,000 cigarette sticks. Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 63.14 points or 0.21% to 29648.99, while the CNX Nifty was up by 6.35 points or 0.07% to 9,160.05.


The US markets closed mostly lower on Friday, but managed to post moderate weekly gains with investors awaiting further catalysts before jumping back into the market. The New York Federal Reserve said that it reduced its estimates on the US economy's growth rates in the first and second quarter following the latest data on domestic retail sales, housing, construction and manufacturing. The regional central bank scaled back its view on first-quarter gross domestic product to 2.83 percent from 3.19 percent a week earlier, while it downgraded its GDP forecast for the second quarter to 2.53 percent from last week's 3.00 percent. On the economy front, most Americans are quite optimistic the US economy will do well in the days ahead, though Democrats remain down in the dumps two months into the Trump presidency. The index of consumer sentiment rose to 97.6 in March from 96.3 in February, based on a preliminary reading from the University of Michigan. Two months ago, the index shot up to its highest level since 2004, largely because of confidence among Republicans and independents. The March survey shows Republicans are still gung-ho. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 19.93 points or 0.10 percent to 20,914.62, S&P 500 dropped 3.13 points or 0.13 percent to 2,378.25, while the Nasdaq was up 0.24 points to 5,901.00. 


Crude oil futures despite making a flat closing ended the week in green, as the traders shrugged off concerns about high levels of US crude inventories while the number of active US drilling rigs rose for a ninth straight week. There was some support with the International Energy Agency's statement that OPEC would be able to re-balance the oil market and end the global supply glut within months, but soaring US production has generated skepticism. Meanwhile, the Oilfield services firm Barker Hughes reported its weekly US rig count rose by 14 to 631, it was the ninth straight weekly increase. Benchmark crude oil futures for May delivery gained by $0.03 to $48.78 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for May delivery ended up by $0.03 at $51.77 on the ICE.


Snapping four-day winning streak, Indian rupee ended marginally weaker against dollar on Friday, on fresh demand for the American currency from importers. Local currency was unable to get any support with HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh's statement the GST regime can push up the country's growth by as much as 150-200 basis points (bps). India's GDP for the third quarter ended in December 2016 recorded a growth of 7%. The estimate of GDP growth for the full fiscal 2016-17 is 7.1%. Besides, dollar's strength against some other currencies overseas weighed, but a firm domestic equity market cushioned the impact. On the global front, dollar hit five-week lows against its peers on Friday, in the wake of the Federal Reserve's cautious message this week on the outlook for interest rate hikes and on concerns over a protectionist slant to a G20 meeting this weekend. Finally, the rupee ended at 65.47, 6 paise weaker from its previous close of 65.41 on Thursday.


The FIIs as per Friday's data were net buyers in equity and debt segments both. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 5611.90 crore against gross selling of Rs 4187.66 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 5220.00 crore with gross sales of Rs 1451.57 crore.


The US markets made a flat closing with mostly a negative bias, the trade remained choppy, as traders continued to digest Wednesday's closely watched monetary announcement from the Federal Reserve and largely shrugged off the latest batch of U.S. economic data. The Asian markets have made a mixed start, with some indices trading in red as the risk appetite was missing and some of the indices are coming off their best week since January after central banks in the U.S. and China raised interest rates.  The Indian markets extending their gains for the holiday truncated week had made a modestly positive close in last session and the benchmarks ended at record highs. Today, the start is likely to be cautious on mixed global cues and some consolidation can be expected and traders will be reacting to a report that G20 failed to agree on free trade amid rising protectionism, even though they reiterated their resolve to avoid competitive currency devaluation. Traders will be eyeing the rupee movement too, which has continued its surge to near 16 months high on dollar weakness in overseas markets and increased foreign fund inflow. There will be some buzz in the PSU banking stocks as the government has laid down strict conditions for capital infusion in PSU banks, which includes active bad loan management, arranging capital from the market, a continuing plan for selling non-core assets, shutting money-losing branches and temporarily paring employee benefits, if necessary. There are also reports that government is considering a proposal to shuffle the heads of some state-run lenders in a bid to solve their bad loans issue and boost financials.


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  • ICICI Bank has received an approval for allotment of 34,250 Basel III compliant unsecured subordinated perpetual Additional Tier 1 bonds aggregating Rs 3,425 crore on private placement basis, date of allotment being March 17, 2017.
  • Tata Power Delhi Distribution, a joint venture of Tata Power and the Government of Delhi, has re-launched its popular 5 Star AC scheme for its customers in north and northwest Delhi.
  • ONGC is planning to invest over Rs 21,500 crore to develop India's deepest gas discovery by 2022-23, helping it more than double output from its prime KG basin block.
  • Tech Mahindra and Huawei Enterprise Business Group have signed a global partnership agreement.
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