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NSE Intra-day chart (23 March 2017)
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Market Commentary 24 March 2017
Markets to get a flat-to-positive start

A session after witnessing a distressing performance, Indian equity indices have managed to pull through an amazing performance by gaining over half a percent on Thursday, thanks to firm global cues. Sentiments got a boost with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement that India's GDP can grow by 7-8 percent if the global economy picks up. He also said the government is hopeful of implementing from July 1 the Goods and Service Tax (GST) to help check tax evasion. The Government is likely to table four GST supplementary legislations in Parliament today. The four Bills are the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017, the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017, the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 and the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017. Some support also came in from reports that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 356.64 crore on March 22, 2017. Further, terror attack in UK, which is said to have taken five lives and left at least 40 injured has limited impact on Indian financial markets. On the domestic front, Investors turned cautious after Reserve Bank of India raised concerns over farm loan waiver as it undermines credit discipline. This observation comes in the context of the likelihood of the newly elected BJP-government in Uttar Pradesh making good its election promise of waiving farm loans and the Opposition in Maharashtra piling pressures on the BJP-Sena government to waive farm loans. According to a recent SBI report, the total outstanding credit (2016) for agriculture sector was Rs 86,241.20 crore in Uttar Pradesh with average ticket size of Rs. 1.34 lakh. Meanwhile, Realty stocks gained traction as the government announced a credit-linked interest subsidy (CLSS) scheme for home loans, leading to savings of more than Rs 2 lakh, or up to Rs 2,000 on EMIs. Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 164.48 points or 0.56% to 29332.16, while the CNX Nifty was up by 55.85 points or 0.62% to 9,086.30.


The US markets closed lower on Thursday, with the Dow edging into negative territory to extending its losing streak to six sessions, as a delay in a closely watched health-care vote raised questions about the Trump administration's ability to win passage of its ambitious legislative agenda. Trading was volatile, with major indexes at one point posting solid gains, but then turning lower ahead of the close after House Republican leaders delayed a vote to replace the Affordable Care Act. On the economy front, the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week jumped by 15,000 to 258,000 and matched a two-month high, with fresh revisions showing layoffs a bit higher in the past 15 months than previously reported. The government updated jobless claims going back five years as it does annually to take into account more accurate seasonal adjustments. The new figures show layoffs are still extremely low but a bit higher than previously reported, mostly since 2016. On the other hand, sales of newly constructed homes powered to the highest pace in seven months in February as firm demand for housing outweighed lean supply and slightly higher mortgage rates. New-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000. That was 6.1% higher than in January and 12.8% above last February's level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 4.72 points or 0.02 percent to 20,656.58, the Nasdaq was down 3.95 points or 0.07 percent to 5,817.69, while S&P 500 dropped 2.49 points or 0.11 percent to 2,345.96. 


Crude oil futures slumped to their four months low on Thursday, as investors continued to fret about growing U.S. crude inventories to record levels. Also, the dollar firmed on rate hike chatter and upbeat economic news and weighed down the crude prices. Last day the US EIA reported crude oil inventories jumped another 4.5 million barrels to a record high. Traders are now looking ahead to Friday afternoon's U.S. oil rig count from Baker Hughes for further cues. The rig count has been constantly rising this winter. Benchmark crude oil futures for May delivery declined by $0.35 or 0.68% to $47.69 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for May delivery ended down by $0.06 at $50.58 on the ICE.


Extending losses for the second straight session, Indian rupee ended lower against the US dollar on Thursday, due to fresh demand for the American currency from banks and importers. Local currency was unable to get any support with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement that India's GDP can grow by 7-8 percent if the global economy picks up. He also said the government is hopeful of implementing from July 1 the Goods and Service Tax (GST) to help check tax evasion. Besides, dollar's strength against some other currencies overseas weighed, but a firm domestic equity market cushioned the impact. On the global front, euro declined against dollar, as investors became cautious ahead of the upcoming healthcare vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, which is a major test of the President's legislative ability to deliver his pro-growth plans. Finally, the rupee ended at 65.53, 9 paise weaker from its previous close of 65.44 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 6619.87 crore against gross selling of Rs 6409.30 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 5617.88 crore with gross sales of Rs 572.78 crore.


The US markets made a flat closing with a negative bias in the last session and extended the lackluster performance seen in the previous session amid continued uncertainty about the fate of the House Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Asian markets have made mostly a green start, though the cautiousness is still persisting on speculation President Donald Trump may struggle with other policies. The Indian markets bounced back in last session, snapping the three session decline and the major benchmarks posted gains of around half a percent on positive global cues. Today, the start is likely to be flat-to-cautious tailing the global cues and traders will be a bit concerned with report, the current account deficit (CAD) widened to $ 7.9 billion or 1.4 percent of GDP in the October-December quarter on account of higher trade deficit. It is, however, equal to 1.4 percent of GDP recorded in the same quarter of last fiscal. Also, the Reserve Bank reported that the country added $ 14.2 billion in foreign exchange reserves on the balance of payment basis during the first nine months of the outgoing financial year, which is marginally down from $ 14.6 billion accretion in the year-ago period. However, traders will be getting some support with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement that the government is keen to roll out the GST on July 1 and other aspects like bringing petroleum and land under its ambit will be considered after the first year of implementation of the new system of indirect tax collection. The GST Bill will be tabled in the Lok Sabha later in the day. There will be some buzz in the oil & gas sector stocks, as the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has reported that crude oil production fell 3.4 per cent in February 2017 as compared to the corresponding period last year. 


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  • Mahindra & Mahindra's indirect subsidiary - Mahindra Retail, has sold its entire shareholding in Mahindra Internet Commerce.
  • Axis Bank is planning to raise $16.2 million or Rs 106 crore by floating bonds through its Dubai financial centre branch.
  • ONGC has more than doubled gas production of Tripura unit to 13,820 lakh cubic metres in 2016-17 from 6,450 lakh cubic metres in 2012-13, presently supplying to gas consumers at 45 lakh cubic metres per day.
  • BHEL has achieved one more milestone by successfully commissioning another 250 MW coal-based thermal unit at the upcoming Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station in Assam.
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