Domestic equity indices declined for second trading session on Monday. The Nifty managed to close above the 14,900 level after hitting an intraday low of 14,745.85 in the afternoon session. Resurgence of COVID-19 cases in various part of the country made investors jittery. A contraction in IIP data for January and spike in India's inflation also triggered selling. A sharp increase in US treasury yields and firm crude oil prices also dented investors' sentiment.
The S&P BSE Sensex, tanked 397 points or 0.78% at 50,395.08. The Nifty 50 index lost 101.45 points or 0.67% at 14,929.50.
ICICI Bank (down 1.57%), HDFC Bank (down 1.45%), Reliance Industries (down 1.40%) and HDFC (down 1.27%) were major drags.
The selling was broad based. The BSE Mid-Cap index fell 0.72% and the BSE Small-Cap index lost 0.53%.
The market breadth was weak. On the BSE, 1224 shares rose and 1831 shares fell. A total of 208 shares were unchanged.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 11,98,75,420 with 26,53,652 deaths. India reported 2,19,262 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,58,725 deaths while 1,10,07,352 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The media reported that Maharashtra recorded this year's highest one-day spike of 16,620 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, which pushed its overall caseload to 23,14,413, while 50 deaths pushed the toll to 52,861.
India's wholesale price-based inflation (WPI) in February rose to 4.17% as against 2.03% a month ago in January and 2.26% during the corresponding month of the previous year. Wholesale prices in February this year, which were highest in the last 27 months, rose on the back of rising food prices and manufactured goods.
India's retail inflation (CPI) rose to 5.03% in February, mainly due to rise in food and fuel prices. Food inflation rose to 3.87% in February, compared to 1.89% in the previous month. Inflation in 'fuel and light' category fell marginally to 3.53% in February compared to 3.87% in January but remained high compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
The consumer price index (CPI) based retail inflation was at 4.06% in January which was lowest since October 2019.
Meanwhile, the country's factory output (IIP) for the month of January contracted by 1.6% after registering a 1% growth in December 2020. Electricity sector output grew 5.5% in January, while manufacturing contracted by 2% and mining output contracted by 3.7%.
Hit by COVID-19 spread and lockdowns, IIP contracted for five months in row from April to August in last fiscal before making a comeback to positive territory.
Further, Bank credit has risen by 6.63% to Rs 107.75 lakh crore while deposits grew by 12.06% to Rs 149.34 lakh crore in the fortnight ended 26 February, according to RBI data. In the fortnight ended 28 February last year, bank credit stood at Rs 101.05 lakh crore and deposits at Rs 133.26 lakh crore.
Bank credit increased by 6.58% to Rs 107.04 lakh crore and deposits rose by 11.75% to Rs 147.81 lakh crore in the previous fortnight ended 12 February 2021.
Numbers to Watch:
The yield on 10-year benchmark federal paper fell to 6.203% as compared with 6.232% at close in the previous trading session.
In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 72.503, compared with its close of 72.79 during the previous trading session.
MCX Gold futures for 5 April 2021 settlement rose 0.24% to Rs 44,859.
The US Dollar index (DXY), which tracks the greenback's value against a basket of currencies, rose 0.10% to 91.77.
In the commodities market, Brent crude for May 2021 settlement rose 6 cents at $69.28 a barrel. The contract fell 41 cents, or 0.59% to settle at $69.22 a barrel in the previous trading session.
The US Dow index futures were up 117 points, indicating a positive opening in the US market.
European market rose while Asian stocks closed on a mixed note on Monday ahead of this week's Federal Reserve meeting stateside.
The Federal Open Market Committee is due to meet on March 16 and 17 and it is reportedly expected that the U.S. central bank may revise up its GDP forecast, following a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus package that will send direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans. The Fed will also deliver its decision on interest rates.
US stocks closed mixed on Friday. The blue-chip Dow powered to its fifth consecutive record high on Friday and the S&P 500 closed slightly higher as investors bought shares that should benefit from a strong reopening of the U.S. economy.
Shares of MTAR Technologies settled at Rs 1082.25 on the BSE, at a premium of 88.22% as compared to the issue of Rs 575 apiece. The stock was listed at Rs 1063.90, a premium of 85.03% to the initial public offer (IPO) price. The stock hit a high of Rs 1,154 and low of 1,035.70. On the BSE, 16.30 lakh shares were traded on the counter. The IPO of MTAR Technologies was subscribed 200.79 times. The issue opened for bidding on 3 March 2021, and closed on 5 March 2021. The price band for the IPO was set at Rs 574-575 per share.
Buzzing Indian Segment:
The Nifty IT index rose 0.56% to 26,032.05. The index fell 0.47% in the previous session.
Coforge (up 3.75%), Mindtree (up 3.46%), Larsen & Toubro Infotech (up 1.74%), HCL Technologies (up 1.39%), Mphasis (up 0.70%), Wipro (up 0.19%) and TCS (up 0.13%) advanced.
Tech Mahindra rose 2.22% after the company announced that it acquired 70% stake in Perigord Asset Holdings to augment expertise in the global pharmaceutical, healthcare and lifesciences sectors.
Tech Mahindra will pay a total cash consideration of 21 million euros for 70% stake of Perigord Asset Holdings. The balance 30% stake will be acquired over the next four years at a valuation linked to financial performance of the company. The transaction is expected to close by 19 March 2021. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 15 March 2021.
Stocks to Watch:
Bajaj Finance fell 2.09%. The NBFC said it will endeavor to maintain a dividend payout in the range of 15% to 25% of profit after tax on standalone basis, subject to the applicable regulations and to the extent possible, as against the earlier payout of up to 15%.
PTC India Financial Services (PFS) fell 0.96%. The company has sanctioned additional loans worth Rs 974 crore to diversified projects related to projects of different sustainable sectors viz solar, transmission and to state power utilities. It is expecting further business (disbursements) against these sanctions in couple of months and accordingly PFS loan book is expected to be increased by the additional disbursements.
Pritish Nandy Communications soared 9.81% to Rs 23.50. Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons and Chairman of Tata Trusts, has, in his personal capacity, acquired a stake in Pritish Nandy Communications through market purchases last week.
Adani Enterprises fell 0.14%. Welspun India jumped 3.46%. Adani Welspun Exploration (AWEL), a joint venture between the Adani Group and Welspun Enterprises, announced its first ever gas discovery in the NELP-VII block MB-OSN-2005/2. AWEL holds 100% participative interest (PI) and is the operator of this block. Spread across 714.6 square km, the block is located in the prolific gas-prone Tapti-Daman sector of Mumbai Offshore basin where production is already underway by another operator/other operators.
Godawari Power & Ispat jumped 11.95% after the company said it received environmental clearance to operate the enhanced capacity of iron ore pellet plant and set up manufacturing facilities in other divisions.
Titan Company rose 0.62%. The company on Friday announced that it has completed its exit from Montblanc India Retail. Consequently, MB India ceases to be an associate/ JV company of the company with effect from 12 March 2021.
Axis Bank lost 0.75%. The private bank will pick up a 9.9% stake in Fettle Tone, a promoter of Max Bupa Health Insurance Company (MBHI), for Rs 90.80 crore to strengthen is insurance business. The definitive agreements in connection with the proposed acquisition have been executed by Axis Bank on 13 March 2021 and the acquisition is proposed to be completed on or before 17 March 2021. The plan is aimed at strengthening Axis Bank's position in the insurance sector.
Strides Pharma Science gained 0.84%. The company on Monday (15 March) announced that its step-down wholly owned subsidiary, Strides Pharma Global, Singapore, has received approval for potassium chloride for oral solution USP, 20 mEq from the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA).
Natco Pharma rose 0.34%. The drug maker on Monday announced its foray into pheromone-based mating disruption technology for integrated pest management solution to farmers in India.
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