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Nifty ends below 13,350 mark; auto stocks decline for 2nd day
(15:33, 25 Mar 2021)

Key equity indices ended near the day's low on Thursday amid across the board selling pressure. The Nifty ended below the 14,350 mark. Trading was volatile as the March 2021 F&O contracts expired today, 25 March 2021.

As per provisional closing data, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, slumped 740.19 points or 1.51% to 48,440.12. The Nifty 50 index tumbled 224.50 points or 1.54% to 14,324.90.

Rising domestic coronavirus cases dented investors sentiment. Global cues were subdued as COVID-induced lockdowns in Europe and potential U.S. tax hikes hit investors' risk appetite.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index declined 2.22% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index lost 1.85%.

Sellers outnumbered buyers. On the BSE, 760 shares rose and 2185 shares fell. A total of 176 shares were unchanged.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 12,47,93,058 with 27,43,520 deaths. India reported 3,95,192 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,60,692 deaths while 1,12,31,650 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

India recorded 53,476 new COVID-19 cases in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise so far this year, taking the nationwide coronavirus tally to 1,17,87,534, the Union health ministry said on Thursday. Now, India has over 1.17 crore COVID-19 cases, the third-highest amount behind the United States and Brazil.

The government has expressed concern over the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra and Punjab. Maharashtra reported highest 28,699 cases in last 24 hours followed by Punjab with 2,254 cases. Addressing media in New Delhi yesterday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said top ten districts where maximum active cases are concentrated are Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nanded, Jalgaon, Akola and Bengaluru Urban.

Economy:

Fitch has revised India's GDP growth estimate to 12.8% for next fiscal from the previous 11% on the back of a stronger carryover effect, a looser fiscal stance, and better virus containment.

The ratings agency, in its latest Global Economic Outlook GEO, anticipates the level of the country's GDP to remain well below its pre-pandemic forecast trajectory. Fitch also expects GDP growth to ease to 5.8% in Fiscal Year 2023.

In a report it said, India's recovery from the depths of the lockdown-induced recession in the second quarter of 2020 has been swifter than expected. GDP surpassed its pre-pandemic level in the fourth quarter of current fiscal.

It also added that High-frequency indicators point to a strong start to 2021. The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index PMI remained elevated in February, while the pickup in mobility and a rise in the services PMI point to further gains in the services sector.

The ratings agency notes that it no longer expects the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut its policy rate, owing to a brighter short-term growth outlook and a more limited decline in inflation than it had forecast.

Primary Market:

The initial public offer (IPO) of Barbeque Nation Hospitality received bids for 91.29 lakh shares as against 49.99 lakh shares on offer, according to the stock exchange data at 15:20 IST on Thursday (25 March 2021). The issue was subscribed 1.83 times.

The issue opened for bidding on Wednesday, 24 March 2021, and it will close on Friday, 26 March 2021. The price band for the IPO was set at Rs 498-500 per share.

New Listing:

Shares of Laxmi Organic Industries were trading at Rs 165.30 at 15:14 IST on the BSE, a premium of 27.15% over the initial public offer (IPO) price of Rs 130.

The stock was listed at Rs 156.20, a premium of 20.15% to the IPO price. The stock hit a high of Rs 174.50 and low of Rs 143. On the BSE, 50.70 lakh shares were traded on the counter.

The IPO of Laxmi Organic Industries was subscribed 106.79 times. The issue opened for bidding on 15 March 2021 and closed on 17 March 2021. The price band for the IPO was set at Rs 129-130 per share.

Shares of Craftsman Automation were trading at Rs 1449 at 15:16 IST on the BSE, a discount of 2.75% over the initial public offer (IPO) price of Rs 1490.

The stock was listed at Rs 1350, a discount of 9.4% to IPO price. The stock hit a high of Rs 1489 and low of Rs 1,349.20. On the BSE, 1.65 lakh shares were traded on the counter.

The IPO of Craftsman Automation was subscribed 3.81 times. The issue opened for bidding on 15 March 2021 and closed on 17 March 2021. The price band for the IPO was set at Rs 1488-1490 per share.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty Auto index fell 2.87% to 9,640.30. The index has lost 5.37% in two sessions.

Maruti Suzuki (down 3.97%), Hero MotoCorp (down 3.19%), Tata Motors (down 2.95%), Bajaj Auto (down 2.73%), Eicher Motors (down 2.69%), Mahindra & Mahindra (down 2.46%), Ashok Leyland (down 2.05%), Bharat Forge (down 1.62%) and TVS Motor Company (down 1.35%) declined.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Jubilant FoodWorks fell 1.52% to Rs 2825.60. The company has entered into an exclusive Master Franchise and Development Agreement with PLK APAC Pte. to develop, establish, own and operate hundreds of Popeyes restaurants in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan in the coming years. Popeyes is one of the world's largest chicken quick service restaurants with over 3,400 restaurants in over 25 countries around the world.

Bank of India fell 3.88% to Rs 69.40. The PSU bank announced plans to raise capital via issue of Basel-III compliant Additional Tier-I (AT-1) bonds aggregating to Rs 750 crore. The issue comprises base issue of Rs 250 crore and green-shoe (over subscription) option of Rs 500 crore.

Ramco Systems fell 3.35% to Rs 550. The firm has secured an order from a leading global technology company to unify and transform its payroll operations across Japan, China, Philippines and Malaysia. The technology major will leverage Ramco's managed payroll services including last mile services on public cloud to streamline and digitally transform its payroll operations across four countries in phase-I.

Kirloskar Ferrous Industries shed 0.44% to Rs 158.60. The company has entered into a mining lease deed with the Government of Karnataka to conduct mining operations for a period of 50 years at Bharath Mines & Minerals. The operations at the mine commenced on 24 March 2021.

Pokarna jumped 11.36% to Rs 256.35. The company announced the commencement of commercial operations of its second quartz surface manufacturing facility located at Mekaguda Village in Telangana.

Global Markets:

European shares declined while most Asian stocks advanced on Thursday, following a subdued session overnight on Wall Street yesterday.

Investors are on edge as many regions of the world are seeing rising COVID-19 cases as highly contagious variants continue to spread. Germany and France are extending or enforcing new lockdown measures.

US stocks gave up earlier gains and closed in the red Wednesday as tech stocks sold off, continuing a market rotation out of high-flying growth names.

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared for a second day for virtual Capitol Hill testimony. Talking with members of the Senate Banking Committee, Powell said he expects the economy to experience superior growth in 2021 amid a recovery from the pandemic.

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