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NSE Intra-day chart (23 March 2020)
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Market Commentary 24 March 2020
Markets to open in green amid gains in Asian peers


Indian markets saw worst fall on Monday's trading session, with the losses of around 13 per cent each. Domestic indices made gap-down opening as the governments of world struggled to contain the fast spreading novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In India, various state governments announced lockdown in nearly 80 districts across the country as the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases inched towards 400. Soon, Sensex hit lower circuit with losses of 10% in the first hour of session, following which the trade was suspended for a period of 45 minutes. After the trade resumed, indices witnessed well turned-out recovery. Traders took note of report that RBI will inject liquidity of Rs 30,000 crore through open market operations (OMOs) on March 24 and March 30 to maintain financial stability in the system in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. But, markets extended their losses in the noon deals and ended deeply in red, after S&P Global Ratings cut its estimate for India's GDP growth in the fiscal starting April 1 to 5.2 per cent from its earlier estimate of 6.5 per cent, as it saw the outbreak of coronavirus costing economies around the globe. The street overlooked the retirement fund body, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's (EPFO) latest Provisional Estimate of Net Payroll data report showing that India created 10,45,379 new jobs in the month of January 2020 as against revised figure of 9,12,217 in December 2019. Finally, the BSE Sensex lost 3934.72 points or 13.15% to 25,981.24, while the CNX Nifty was down by 1135.20 points or 12.98% to 7,610.25.


The US markets ended lower on Monday as a massive fiscal stimulus bill once again failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate. In a largely party-line vote, Senators voted 49 to 46 in favor of the procedural motion, falling short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill. Most Democratic Senators voted against advancing the bill amid complaints that the legislation does too much to bail out companies and not enough to provide assistance to workers. The lack of progress on Capitol Hill partly offset the positive sentiment generated by the Federal Reserve's announcement of extensive new measures to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Citing the tremendous hardship being caused by the outbreak, the Fed said it is committed to using its full range of tools to support households, businesses, and the US economy overall in this challenging time. The measures announced include an unlimited expansion of the Fed's asset purchases, with the central bank saying it will purchase Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy. The Fed had previously announced it would purchase at least $500 billion of Treasury securities and at least $200 billion of mortgage-backed securities. 


Crude oil futures ended higher on Monday after the Federal Reserve announced extensive new measures, including an unlimited expansion of its asset purchases. The central bank said it will purchase Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy. The move up for oil came even as countries around the world further restrict activity in a bid to slow the coronavirus pandemic and the Senate failed to reach an agreement on a US rescue package. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has climbed above 350,000 worldwide, with confirmed cases in the US jumping above 35,000. Crude oil futures for May rose 73 cents or 3.2 percent to settle at $23.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude added a nickel or 0.2 percent to settle at $27.03 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee fell sharply against the US dollar, weakening past 76 per dollar mark for the first time on Monday, as forex market continued to grapple with economic uncertainties due to the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. Traders also remain concerned after S&P Global Ratings cut its estimate for India's GDP growth in the fiscal starting April 1 to 5.2 per cent from its earlier estimate of 6.5 per cent, as it saw the outbreak of coronavirus costing economies around the globe. Moreover, the steep decline in domestic equities and sustained foreign fund outflows further dampened the sentiment. On the global front, dollar erased most of its early losses and rose towards a three-year high on Monday as a global selloff in stocks rippled over into early European trading, burnishing the safe-haven appeal of the greenback. The last traded price of rupee was 76.28, weaker by Rs 1.08 from its previous close of 75.20 on Friday.


The FIIs as per Monday's data were net sellers in both equity and debt segments. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 9456.46 crore against gross selling of Rs 12909.73 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 250.72 crore with gross sales of Rs 3693.72 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 13.80 crore against gross selling of Rs 16.67 crore.


The US markets ended lower on Monday as the rapidly spreading coronavirus forced more U.S. states into lockdown. All the Asian markets are trading in green on Tuesday as the US Federal Reserve's promise of bottomless dollar funding eased painful strains in financial markets. Indian markets ended lower with losses of around 13% each on Monday as investors continued to fret over the impact of the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak on economic growth. Today, the markets are likely to get optimistic start following gains in Asian peers. Some encouragement will come as in a bid to provide additional liquidity to the system hit by the coronavirus outbreak, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to inject Rs 1 lakh crore and assured such move further also if required. The first tranche of term repo worth Rs 50,000 crore was conducted on March 23, while the second tranche of the same amount will be conducted on March 24. Though, there may be some caution with rising coronavirus cases. India reported three Covid-19 deaths on Monday, taking the death toll to 10, while the total number of cases climbed to 499. Maharashtra and Punjab were put under statewide curfews, the rest of the country is in lockdown. Some cautiousness may come as expressing his concern on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Indian economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the informal sector will face the brunt and the impact on the overall economy will be felt gradually. Traders may be concerned with report that the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdowns led a foreign brokerage to sharply cut India's growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1, to 4% from the 5.1% estimated earlier. Market participants may take note of report that former RBI governor Bimal Jalan has pitched for fiscal stimulus to mitigate the impact of coronavirus outbreak which could lower India's growth by an estimated 1 percentage point, and affect jobs. Meanwhile, the government has amended the law to get enabling powers to raise excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 8 per litre each in future. There will be some reaction in aviation stocks with report that India will suspend domestic passenger flights from March 24 midnight until March 31, shutting down air transport to stem the spread of the coronavirus. E-commerce stocks will be in focus with private report that the Indian e-commerce sector has come to a halt across the country including the supply of essential commodities due to various lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 


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  • SBI has launched an emergency credit line to provide some degree of relief to its the borrowers whose operations are impacted by Covid-19. 
  • Coal India has attained highest single-day production of 3.17 million tonnes on March 20. 
  • NHPC is going to develop renewable energy projects in Kerala. 
  • IOC has begun the supply of the world's cleanest petrol and diesel across the country with all its 28,000 petrol pumps dispensing ultra-low sulphur fuel.
News Analysis