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NSE Intra-day chart (23 March 2016)
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Market Commentary 28 March 2016
Markets to get a cautious but positive start of the F&O expiry week


After making sluggish start, Indian equity markets managed to eke out some gains by the end of trade on Wednesday, as the benchmark indices clawed back into the green terrain in the last leg of trade on getting some supportive leads from the European markets. Sentiments got a boost with a report that the current account deficit which narrowed in the October-December quarter of 2015 is likely to shrink further in the March quarter of this year. According to the report, the monthly run rate for the trade deficit is tracking well under $10 billion in 2016, which should shrink CAD further in the March quarter. Some support also came in from reports that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1,095.44 crore on March 22, 2016. However, market participants were cautious for most part of the session ahead of a long weekend and amid geopolitical concerns after militants targeted Brussels airport and a city metro station on Tuesday.  Also, the global rating agency Standard and Poor's report that the Indian banking sector might continue to face tough times over next 12 months as their asset quality and capitalisation remain under pressure, too weighed on the sentiments. According to Standard and Poor's, the asset quality is likely to remain under pressure due to tepid domestic industrial activity, and subdued profitability and high leverage in some corporate sectors. Meanwhile, metal shares gained across the board following signs of revival in China's housing market and supply cuts by firms like Glencore and Freeport McMoRan which is likely to lift the copper prices higher, while weakness in global crude oil prices weighed on oil explorers like ONGC, Cairn India and Oil India. On the global front, Asian markets were largely quiet on Wednesday, while the European stocks rose in early trade. Back home, the benchmark began on a cautious note tracking sluggish cues from the Asian markets which opened on a tepid note on the back of weak leads from overnight US markets. Thereafter, the key indices failed to show any kind of fervor due to lack of any encouraging leads. However, late short covering in blue-chip stocks and supportive leads from European markets ensured that local bourses go home with some gains. Finally, the BSE Sensex gained 7.07 points or 0.03% to 25337.56, while the CNX Nifty rose 1.60 points or 0.02% to 7,716.50. Indian markets remained closed on Thursday and Friday on account of Holi and Good Friday.


US Equity benchmarks ended on quiet note on Thursday with concerns about the outlook for interest rates following comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard. Bullard said the relatively minor downgrades to the Fed's economic outlook suggest the next rate hike ‘may not be far off provided that the economy evolves as expected.' Sentiments remained down-beat with the Labor Department releasing a report showing a modest increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended March 19th. The initial jobless claims edged up to 265,000, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's downwardly revised level of 259,000. The street had expected jobless claims to inch up to 268,000 from the 265,000 originally reported for the previous week. A separate report from the Commerce Department showed a pullback in durable goods orders in the month of February. The Commerce Department said durable goods orders fell by 2.8 percent in February after surging up by a revised 4.2 percent in January. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13.14 points or 0.08 percent to 17515.73 and the Nasdaq gained 4.64 points or 0.10 percent to 4773.50. On the other hand, S&P 500 climbed 21.37 points or 0.16 percent to 13,358.11.


Crude oil futures after trading in a range ended modestly lower on Thursday, traders digested the report of a massive inventory build last week in domestic energy markets in the US. Crude stockpiles nationwide surged by 9.4 million barrels from the previous week, the second-highest weekly inventory build on the year. Traders also remained concerned with International Energy Agency (IEA) admitting that a highly anticipated output freeze between four major producers could essentially be "meaningless," amid views that Saudi Arabia is the only member of the group which may be able to boost production by a considerable amount. Benchmark crude oil futures for May delivery ended down by $0.37or 0.78 percent to $39.48 a barrel after trading in a range of $38.34 and $39.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for May delivery closed at 40.40, down $0.07 or 0.17 percent on the ICE.


Indian rupee recouped its early losses and ended stronger against dollar on mild selling of American currency by banks and exporters. Rupee snapped its two day losing streak to end stronger supported by local equity markets which somehow managed a positive close. However gains remained capped as investors avoided long position ahead of the long weekend as currency market will remain closed tomorrow and Friday on account of ‘Holi' and ‘Good Friday', respectively. On the global front, dollar rose to a one-week high against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, boosted by hawkish comments by US Federal Reserve officials and safe-haven demand following Tuesday's deadly attacks in Brussels. Finally, the rupee ended at 66.64, 8 paise stronger from its previous close of 66.72 on Tuesday.


The FIIs as per Wednesday's data were net buyers in equity and in debt segments both. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 4998.54 crore against gross selling of Rs 3868.23 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 2195.41   crore with gross sales of Rs 1361.30 crore.         


The US markets ended with modest gains in the last session before going for a long weekend. Meanwhile, data showed that the US economy expanded 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a previously estimated 1 percent. The Asian markets have made a mixed start with some of the indices trading lower, though the Japanese market has surged, as the yen fell for a seventh day after data showed the US economy grew at a faster pace than previously estimated. The Indian markets came into consolidation mood before going for a long break, though managing to end on a positive note in the last session. Today, the start of the F&O March series expiry week is likely to be cautious but in green, traders will be reacting to the revised GDP numbers of the US and will be building a 25 basis points cut in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its forthcoming policy review on April 5. However, there will be some political concern that could weigh on the trading sentiments, with the Centre imposing President's rule in Congress-ruled Uttarakhand, which could impact the functioning of the second half of the budget session and hinder passage of any crucial Bill. There will be some buzz in the gold and jewellary stocks, as the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has offered to walk the extra mile to ensure that small traders were not harassed but made it plain that luxury items cannot go untaxed. He has said that gold and other jewellery will be part of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime which will subsume the 1 percent proposed excise levy, as there cannot be a situation where essential items are taxed and luxury items like gold are left out. The telecom stocks too will be in action, on report that the Department of Telecom is looking to commence the auction for spectrum, including in 700 Mhz band, around mid-July, which may fetch the government a whopping Rs 5.36 lakh crore. The Telecom Commission, an inter-ministerial body is scheduled to meet today to discuss the next round of spectrum auction.



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