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NSE Intra-day chart (24 March 2020)
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Market Commentary 25 March 2020
Markets to get pessimistic start amid 21-day lockdown


Indian equity markets staged a strong comeback after the biggest fall in history a day prior and ended Tuesday's session with healthy gains of over two and half percent, on the back of sustained buying across sectors. The gains in the markets were in line with the gains seen in other Asian markets and European indices. Key indices made gap-up opening, 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. But, the markets wiped out all of their gains soon and traded marginally in red, as traders turned cautious with Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing his concern on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Indian economy and said the informal sector will face the brunt and the impact on the overall economy will be felt gradually. However, selling proved short-lived as markets bounced back into the green in late morning deals, as the government raised the threshold that would trigger insolvency proceedings to Rs 1 crore from current Rs 1 lakh to help small companies facing the threat of defaults due to coronavirus-related lockdown. Buying further crept in after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the government is preparing an economic package which will be announced soon in a bid to tackle the economic fallout affecting the Indian economy due to coronavirus pandemic. She also said the last date for filing Income Tax return for the year 2018-19 has been extended from March 31 to June 30, 2020. Though, markets erased most of gains in late trade but managed to garner gains of over two and half percent as the Finance Ministry declared the government expenditure system as an essential service, implying that all its payment functions will run normally to ensure that there are no delays in transfer of funds to meet any emergent needs amidst the coronavirus crisis. Finally, the BSE Sensex gained 692.79 points or 2.67% to 26,674.03, while the CNX Nifty was up by 190.80 points or 2.51% to 7,801.05.


The US markets ended sharply higher on Tuesday, partly offsetting the significant weakness seen in recent sessions, amid indications Democrats and Republicans are closing in on an agreement on a massive fiscal stimulus bill. After a meeting with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and incoming White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said negotiations were on the two-yard line. Meanwhile, Schumer indicated Democrats are still pushing for increased oversight of a proposed $500 billion bailout fund to help industries that are struggling amid the coronavirus outbreak. Besides, Traders were also reacting to President Donald Trump's comments suggesting the coronavirus-related shutdown of much of the country could end sooner than many anticipated. Trump said that he would love to see the country open by Easter, which is on April 12. On the economic data front, after reporting a jump in US new home sales in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report showing home sales pulled back sharply in the month of February. The Commerce Department said new home sales tumbled by 4.4 percent to an annual rate of 765,000 in February after spiking by 10.5 percent to an upwardly revised rate of 800,000 in January. With the upward revision, the annual rate of new home sales in January was the highest since reaching 842,000 in May of 2007. Street had expected new home sales to slump by 1.8 percent to a rate of 750,000 from the 764,000 originally reported for the previous month. The bigger than expected decrease was partly due to a substantial pullback in new home sales in the West, which plunged by 17.2 percent in February after soaring by 28.8 percent in January. 


Extending their previous session's gains, crude oil futures ended higher on Tuesday a day after the Federal Reserve unveiled a historic round of monetary stimulus and investors remained upbeat about prospects for a Congressional approval of a massive fiscal stimulus package. The Fed had announced it would purchase an unlimited amount of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities to support the functioning of financial markets. Crude oil futures for May rose 65 cents or 2.8 percent to settle at $24.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude added 12 cents or 0.4 percent to settle at $27.15 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Erasing all of its initial losses, Indian rupee appreciated considerably against the US dollar on Tuesday, driven by weakening of the greenback in overseas markets. Investors' sentiment improved after the Reserve Bank said that it will conduct Rs 1 lakh crore of short-term variable repo auction to boost liquidity. 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. Some optimism also came after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the government is preparing an economic package which will be announced soon in a bid to tackle the economic fallout affecting the Indian economy due to coronavirus pandemic. Splendid recovery in domestic equity markets also supported the forex sentiment. On the global front, dollar slipped for a second consecutive day on Tuesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve unveiled fresh measures to supply precious liquidity into funding markets, sending risky currencies such as the Australian dollar soaring. The last traded price of rupee was 75.94, 26 paise stronger from its previous close of 76.20 on Monday.


The FIIs as per Tuesday's data were net sellers in both equity and debt segments. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 5767.26 crore against gross selling of Rs 8407.39 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 2032.28 crore with gross sales of Rs 3601.14 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 6.04 crore against gross selling of Rs 4.99 crore.


The US markets ended higher on Tuesday amid indications Democrats and Republicans are closing in on an agreement on a massive fiscal stimulus bill. Asian markets are trading mostly in green on Wednesday following overnight gains on Wall Street. Indian markets ended higher on Tuesday amid reports that government will soon announce an economic package to help the coronavirus-hit sectors. Today, the start of session is likely to be negative as the government has announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days to contain the spread of fast-spreading novel coronavirus -- the COVID-19. The nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 24 midnight and will continue until April 14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country will be set back by 21 years if we don't manage these 21 days. Meanwhile, the coronavirus death toll in India has gone up to 11 with the death of a man in Tamil Nadu. The total number of COVID-19 cases reported from the states so far is 562. However, some respite may come later in the day as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman extended the deadline for filing tax returns by three months beyond March 31. She also announced a slew of regulatory and compliance measures across sectors to alleviate the hardships being faced by various businesses. Also, allaying fears that the economy may not be financially equipped to deal with the fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic, Sithraman said that there is no economic emergency in India. Some support may also come as investments through participatory notes (P-notes) in the domestic capital market rose to Rs 68,862 crore at the end of February, making it the second consecutive monthly increase. Meanwhile, stock brokers association Anmi has asked market regulator Sebi to close stock exchanges for at least two days, which will give brokerage firms time to close their entire outstanding positions, in case all states do not declare stock broking as an essential service, exempted from lockdown. Aviation stocks will be in focus as airlines have sought help from the government to help them pay employees' salaries as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has forced the authorities to stop air transport till March 31. There will be some reaction in copper industry stocks with a private report that taking advantage of the lower international prices, India turned out to be a net importer of copper so far in this fiscal. 


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Tata Motors






  • TCS' strategic unit -- TCS iON is offering access to the TCS iON Digital Glass Room, a virtual learning platform, free of cost to educational institutes across the country. 
  • HCL Technologies has released BigFix 10 to be generally available in April 2020. 
  • Dr. Reddy's Laboratories is planning to raise funds by issuance of Commercial Paper. 
  • Hindustan Unilever has signed an agreement with Glenmark Pharmaceuticals to acquire its intimate hygiene brand VWash.
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