NSE Intra-day chart (13 September 2019)
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Market Commentary 16 September 2019
Benchmarks to make pessimistic start amid rise in crude oil prices


Indian equity benchmarks ended the last trading day of the week with notable gains. After a cautious start of the day, key indices remained volatile for the most part of the day, impacted with the government data report showing that consumer price index-based inflation (CPI) for August crept up slightly to 3.21% year-on-year, compared with 3.15% in July, driven by a sharp rise in food prices. Market participants also remained worried with the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) statement that India's economic growth is much weaker than expected, attributing the reasons for corporate and environmental regulatory uncertainty and lingering weaknesses in some non-bank financial companies. However, markets staged recovery in the last hours of trade, amid reports that the Reserve Bank of India is expected to go for a further rate cut in the next month's monetary policy review as inflation is expected to pan out in line with the central bank's projection. The street took some support with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal's statement that the government will soon come out with guidelines on extending foreign exchange credit to exporters at affordable rates. Besides, snapping two-month declining trend, India's industrial production measured by Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which gauges production in the industrial sector for a given period of time, stood at 4.3% in July 2019. Finally, the BSE Sensex gained 280.71 points or 0.76% to 37,384.99, while the CNX Nifty was up by 93.10 points or 0.85% to 11,075.90.


The US markets ended mostly lower on Friday. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out an eighth-straight gain on Friday as Sino-American trade tensions eased and central banks support risk taking with economic stimulus measures. China's Ministry of Commerce revealed plans to exempt US agricultural products, including soybeans and pork, from additional tariffs. China will add the agricultural products to a list of 16 types of American-made products granted tariff exemptions as a sign of goodwill ahead of the next round of trade talks. The Commerce Ministry also said it welcomes President Donald Trump's move to temporarily delay raising the rate of tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. Meanwhile, Trump said he would think about an interim deal with China but would prefer a full agreement as the world's two largest economies look to end the widening trade war. On the economic data front, a report released by the Commerce Department showed business inventories in the US increased by more than expected in the month of July. The Commerce Department said business inventories climbed by 0.4 percent in July after coming in unchanged in June. Street had expected inventories to rise by 0.3 percent. Retail inventories showed a notable 0.8 percent increase after slipping by 0.2 percent in the previous month, while manufacturing and wholesale inventories both rose by 0.2 percent. Besides, with fuel prices pulling back sharply, the Labor Department released a report showing a slightly bigger than expected decrease in US import prices in the month of August. The report showed import prices fell by 0.5 percent in August after inching up by a downwardly revised 0.1 percent in July. Street had expected import prices to drop by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month. Dow Jones Industrial Average added 37.07 points or 0.14 percent to 27219.52, while Nasdaq dropped 17.75 points or 0.22 percent to 8176.71 and S&P 500 down up by 2.18 points or 0.07 percent to 3007.39.


Crude oil futures ended lower for fourth straight day on Friday as traders feared a likely drop in energy demand and excess supply in the market. The possibility of the US relaxing sanctions on Iran too weighed on oil prices. In its latest monthly report, The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said global oil market will be in surplus next year. Oil demand will drop by about 60,000 barrels per day next year. However, downside remain capped on reports that signs of cooling animosities between Beijing and Washington, representing the largest economies in the world and big consumers of crude, have been a focus for oil traders because that conflict has threatened to hurting the global economy and damage demand for crude. Benchmark crude oil futures for October declined 24 cents or 0.4 percent to settle at $54.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. November Brent lost 16 cents or 0.3 percent to settle at $60.22 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee ended stronger against dollar on Friday, due to increased selling of the American currency by banks and exporters. Traders took encouragement with the Central Statistics Office's data showing that India's industrial output rose 4.3% in July, as against 2% in June. Also, last hour recovery in local equity markets and dollar losing sheen against some other currencies overseas gave the uptrend some momentum. Market participants paid no heed towards data showing that consumer price index-based inflation (CPI) for August crept up slightly to 3.21% year-on-year, compared with 3.15% in July, driven by a sharp rise in food prices. On the global front, euro edged higher against the dollar on Friday as German government bond yields surged on the back of investors thinking the European Central Bank was done stimulating the ailing euro zone economy after cutting rates on Thursday. Finally, the rupee ended at 70.92, 22 paise stronger from its previous close of 71.14 on Thursday.


The FIIs as per Friday's data were net buyers in both equity and debt segments. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 6417.96 crore against gross selling of Rs 3808.56 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1639.72 crore with gross sales of Rs 1543.34 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 11.56 crore against gross selling of Rs 9.89 crore.


The US markets ended mostly lower on Friday as the major averages encountered some resistance as they climbed back within striking distance of the record highs set in July. Asian markets are trading mixed on Monday, as oil prices surged following drone attacks over the weekend that hit major oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia. Indian markets ended range-bound trade at intraday high levels on Friday mainly on the back of late hour buying led by financial and IT stocks as hopes of another rate cut by RBI boosted investor sentiments. Today, the start of new week is likely to be negative following weakness in global markets along with surge in crude oil prices amid drone attacks in Saudi Aramco, the largest oil producer in the world. Some cautiousness will come as the commerce ministry's data showed that India's exports dropped by 6.05 per cent to $26.13 billion in August compared to the year-ago month. Imports too declined by 13.45 per cent to $39.58 billion, narrowing trade deficit to $13.45 billion in August. Traders will be eyeing the inflation data based on wholesale price index (WPI) slated to be announced later in the day. Though, some support may come later in the day as finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced reforms to boost the export and housing sector in the country. She announced a slew of measures including a new attractive scheme to refund the duties and taxes on exports that will replace all existing schemes in a bid to stimulate exports and the economy. She said this will incentivise all exporters more than all the existing schemes put together. The revenue forgone is projected at upto Rs 50,000 crore. She also said there are clear signs of revival of industrial production and fixed investment after economic growth plunged to a six-year low. Traders may also took note of a report that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) turned net buyers in the first half of September, pumping in Rs 1,841 crore into the capital markets, after remaining sellers for the previous two months. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India's data showed that the country's foreign exchange reserves increased by $1.004 billion to $429.608 billion in the week to September 6, helped by a rise in foreign currency assets. Banking stocks will be in focus as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) proposed a minimum equity capital of Rs 200 crore to set up a small finance bank (SFB) under the on tap licence regime to expand the banking services through high technology-low cost operations. There will be some buzz in the power stocks with a private report indicating that the outstanding dues of distribution utilities from power producers have risen by more than 57 per cent to Rs 73,748 crore in July 2019 compared to the same month last year, showing stress in the sector.


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