Dalal Street ended with moderate gains this week; IT sector dragged around 6%; Broader market indices closed with gains


Indian market ended with moderate gains the week ended March 22 amid high volatility after no change in interest rates by the Fed, a fall in crude oil prices, subdued guidance from a global IT player Accenture, and consistent FII selling.

This week, BSE Sensex added 188.51 or 0.25 percent to close at 72,831.94 and the Nifty50 index rose 73.45 points or 0.33 percent to end at 22,096.80.

Considering Broader market indices, the BSE Small-cap index added nearly 2 percent while the BSE Mid-cap Index rose 1.5 percent and the BSE Large-cap Index gained 0.6 percent.

Among sectors, the Nifty Information Technology index lost 6 percent after tech giant Accenture revised down its full-year revenue growth projection, however, the Nifty Realty index rose 5.4 percent, and Nifty Auto and Metal indices added 4 percent each.

In terms of market value, Reliance Industries added the most, followed by Maruti Suzuki India, Bajaj Finance, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries. On the other hand, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and HCL Technologies lost most of their market cap.

During the week, Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) increased their selling as they sold equities worth Rs 8,365.53 crore, while Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities worth Rs 19,351.62 crore.

The Indian rupee remained under pressure against the US dollar. The domestic currency fell 54 paise against the dollar in the week ended March 22 as it closed at 83.42.


India looking to Africa for critical minerals

India is looking to Africa for minerals such as copper, cobalt, and other critical minerals, while also engaging with Australia for lithium blocks, said V.L. Kantha Rao, secretary of mines.
India is preparing rules for the auction of offshore mineral blocks with 10 blocks ready, Rao said, adding the country aims to begin auctions this year. India will also announce the results of the first tranche of critical mineral blocks in 10 days, he said.

IT stocks bleed as Accenture lowers revenue guidance.

Indian IT services stocks crashed in trade on March 22 as pessimism clouded the sector, a day after tech giant Accenture cut its revenue guidance, as an uncertain economy prompts clients to curtail spending on its consulting services. The biggest losers in the index were HCL Tech, Mphasis, and Persistent Systems which tanked over four percent each.

Indian lenders to chase corporate bonds as new investment rules kick in, says treasury officials.

Indian banks will gravitate towards corporate bonds as they intend to hold until maturity once new central bank rules kick in next month, as yields are currently elevated and the investments would be spared from market-linked markdowns, treasury officials said.
From April 1, corporate bond investments will be allowed under the held-to-maturity (HTM) category for the first time, provided the fair value is disclosed and investments are protected from mark-to-market volatility, according to revised Reserve Bank of India rules.


Wall Street extends overnight record-setting after SNB cut, steady Fed.

Global share benchmarks rallied farther into uncharted territory on Thursday and yields on government debt mainly fell after the Swiss National Bank became the first major central bank to ease policy in this cycle, a day after the Federal Reserve maintained its outlook for 2024 rate cuts.
Wall Street closed with all three major indexes extending their streak of record highs, on the heels of similar milestones earlier in Japan and Europe and in gold.

Asia shares on a roll as SNB kicks off rate cuts.

Asian stocks were near a weekly gain on Friday and the Nikkei charged to a record high, riding a rally from its global counterparts after a surprise rate cut from the Swiss National Bank had investors wagering who could be next.
Other benchmarks in Asia also scaled new peaks, with Japan’s Nikkei and the Taiwan weighted index charging to record highs. Both were on track for a weekly gain of nearly 6% and 3%, respectively.

Oil prices ease on Gaza ceasefire possibility.

Oil prices sank in early Asian trading on Friday on the possibility of a nearing Gaza ceasefire, which could loosen global supply, at the same time a stronger U.S. dollar and faltering gasoline dampened demand sentiment.
Brent crude futures fell 18 cents to $85.60 a barrel by 0011 GMT. U.S. crude futures shed 19 cents to $80.88 per barrel.


Paytm: Paytm recently received the National Payments Council of India (NPCI) approval to function as a third-party app, which will enable it to work like its peers Google Pay and PhonePe. The company has also tied up with Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, SBI, and Yes Bank to ensure smooth business migration.

Grasim India: Grasim’s recently launched paint brand Birla Opus unveiled its dealer pricing which happens to sit at a discount of around 5 percent for most products to industry leader Asian Paints. With the discounted offering from Grasim, Jefferies sees the battle intensifying in the Indian paints sector, which also poses a downside risk to market leader Asian Paints.

Lemon Tree Hotels: The Lemon Tree Hotels signed a new property in Jharkhand’s Ranchi. The property, which will be franchised by Lemon Tree Hotels Limited, is expected to open in FY25. The hotels will have 45 rooms, a restaurant, a bar, banquet facilities, meeting rooms, a swimming pool, a fitness center, and other public areas.

Prestige Estates: the company acquired 62.5 acres of land in Indirapuram Extension, NCR. The acquired land will be developed primarily as residential and will be branded under the ‘The Prestige City’ format. The cost of acquisition amounts to Rs 468 crore, along with a revenue share.