Indian equity benchmarks — Sensex and Nifty50 — failed to keep above the flatline in a choppy session on Thursday, dragged by financial and auto shares though strength in oil & gas and IT stocks lent some support.

Globally, persistent geopolitical tensions emanating from Russia-Ukraine updates and surging oil prices kept investors nervous.

What do the charts suggest for Dalal Street now?

The Nifty50 has formed a long bearish candle on the daily chart, suggesting weakness on Friday, according to Sachin Gupta, AVP-Research at Choice Broking.

“It has been trading below its 50-day simple moving average on the hourly chart… MACD has suggested a negative crossover,” he said. MACD is a momentum indicator.

Key support at 16,400

Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail) at Kotak Securities, is of the view that selling intensity has been decreasing for the past few days.

“Key support for the 50-scrip index is again emerging at 16,450-16,400 levels. In the last downtrend, the Nifty found strong support at 16,400 — a level of great relevance, which propelled it to 18,350. As long as it stays above 16,400, we can see volatility between 16,800 and 16,400. A close below it will be negative for the market,” he said.

Here are key things to know about the market before the March 4 session:

SGX Nifty

At 7:36 am on Friday, Singapore Exchange (SGX) Nifty futures — an early indicator of the Nifty index — were down 310.5 points or 1.9 percent at 16,201, suggesting a gap-down opening ahead on Dalal Street.

Global markets

Equities in other Asian markets suffered deep losses in early hours amid rising oil prices following a report that a Ukranian nuclear power plant was on fire. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.5 percent at the last count.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down two percent, China’s Shanghai Composite 0.9 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 2.6 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI was down 1.1 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times 0.4 percent.

S&P 500 futures were down half a percent. On Thursday, the three main Wall Street indices fell 0.3-1.6 percent amid weakness in growth stocks such as Tesla and Amazon.

What to expect on Dalal Street

Ruchit Jain, Lead Research at 5paisa.com, expects the momentum to remain weak till the Nifty takes out the 16,700-16,800 hurdle, and suggests avoiding aggressive positions for now.

“Till the trend remains down, the banking and financial space is likely to continue its underperformance. Traders should wait for a move above 16,800 with broader market participation,” he said.

Levels to watch out for

Gupta of Choice Broking has identified the following levels:

Index Support Resistance
Nifty50 16,350/16,200  16,650/16,800
Nifty Bank 34,400 35,900

FII/DII activity

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net sold Indian equities worth Rs 6,644.7 crore on Thursday, according to provisional exchange data. However, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) made net purchases to the tune of Rs 4,799.2 crore.

Exchange data shows the maximum call open interest is accumulated at the strikes of 17,500 and 17,000, with 1.1 lakh contracts each. On the other hand, the maximum put open interest is at 16,000, with 1.1 lakh contracts, and then 16,500, with almost 97,000 contracts.

This suggests the Nifty faces a major hurdle at 17,000, and meaningful support after 16,500 comes only at 16,000.

Long build-up

Here are five stocks that saw an increase in open interest as well as price, suggesting build-up of long positions:

Symbol Current OI CMP Price change OI change
ONGC 2,71,42,500 169.5 4.40% 18.07%
POWERGRID 2,52,25,090 215.75 3.23% 12.62%
INTELLECT 4,94,250 658 0.46% 11.68%
COALINDIA 3,41,83,800 188.55 3.09% 11.38%
BALRAMCHIN 65,61,600 425.25 3.54% 11.12%

Long unwinding

Symbol Current OI CMP Price change OI change
BEL 2,15,80,200 214.7 -0.37% -2.04%
LALPATHLAB 8,39,375 2,447.45 -1.84% -1.65%
HAL 19,72,200 1,387 -0.37% -1.35%
NBCC 2,32,68,000 38.5 -2.16% -1.13%
AMARAJABAT 67,62,000 561.9 -0.16% -0.61%

(Decrease in open interest as well as price)


Symbol Current OI CMP Price change OI change
HONAUT 7,110 40,644.90 0.26% -1.48%
NATIONALUM 9,30,83,500 128.75 2.22% -0.70%
INDUSTOWER 2,37,49,600 211.15 1.71% -0.62%
GNFC 27,44,300 585 0.44% -0.28%
DELTACORP 1,31,69,800 265.8 0.95% -0.26%

(Increase in price and decrease in open interest)

Symbol Current OI CMP Price change OI change
ULTRACEMCO 21,95,700 5,991.25 -6.69% 46.28%
GUJGASLTD 23,92,500 525.3 -7.32% 21.11%
DALBHARAT 6,34,000 1,432.35 -5.91% 20.19%
RAMCOCEM 14,86,650 730.95 -6.28% 17.72%
UBL 9,27,150 1,397.95 -6.89% 17.70%

(Increase in open interest and decrease in price)

52-week highs

Five stocks in the BSE 500 universe managed to scale 52-week highs: Vedanta, Nalco, Adani Transmission, GNFC and Hitachi Energy.

52-week lows

As many as nine stocks in the broadest basket on the bourse hit 52-week lows: Dr Reddy’s, Hindustan Unilever, Shree Cement, Aarti Drugs, AIA Engineering, Endurance Technologies, Kansai Nerolac, Ramco Cements and Strides Pharma.

Fear gauge

The India VIX — also known as the fear index — eased 3.7 percent to settle at 28.2 on Thursday. Last week, Russia’s move to invade Ukraine had sent the index soaring to a 20-month high of 34.


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