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Last Updated : Mar 23, 2020 07:34 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

What changed for the market while you were sleeping? Top 15 things to know

Trends on SGX Nifty indicate a negative opening for the index in India with a 1,038 points loss.

The equity markets continued to bleed profusely in the week ended March 20 as coronavirus fears roiled investor sentiment worldwide. The carnage was doused, albeit slightly, by the relief rally on Friday, but the overall mood still remains sombre despite stimulus packages from various central banks across the world.

The BSE Sensex and Nifty cracked more than 12 percent, the biggest weekly loss since October 2008, the height of the global financial crisis.

Experts feel the regulator's measures may support the market from free-fall, but the sentiment is so dire across the globe due to COVID-19, that the weakness and volatility are likely to continue till the virus spread gets arrested.

Close

According to the pivot charts, the key support level for Nifty is placed at 8,321.43, followed by 7,897.42. If the index moves up, key resistance levels to watch out for are 9,026.23 and 9,307.02.

The important pivot level, which will act as crucial support for the index, is placed at 19,413.54 followed by 18,509.47. On the upside, key resistance levels are placed at 21,073.14 and 21,828.67.

Stay tuned to Moneycontrol to find out what happens in currency and equity markets today. We have collated a list of important headlines across news platforms which could impact Indian as well as international markets:

US Markets

Wall Street retreated on Friday after New York ordered residents to stay home, rattling investors who had welcomed this week’s fiscal and monetary measures to counter the coronavirus shock and help revive the safe-haven appeal of bonds and gold.

Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 913.21 points, or 4.55%, to 19,173.98. The S&P 500 lost 104.47 points, or 4.34%, to 2,304.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 271.06 points, or 3.79%, to 6,879.52.

Asian Markets

Asian shares slid on Monday as more countries all but shut down in the fight against the coronavirus, threatening to overwhelm policymakers’ frantic efforts to cushion what is clear to be a deep global recession.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 2%, with South Korea badly hit. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.8%, perhaps aided by expectations of more asset buying by the Bank of Japan, but the commodity-heavy Australian market shed 5%.

SGX Nifty

Trends on SGX Nifty indicate a negative opening for the index in India with a 1,038 points loss. The Nifty futures were trading at 7,738 on the Singaporean Exchange around 07:30 hours IST.

Oil falls more than $1 as coronavirus spreads

Oil prices fell more than $1 a barrel at the start of the trading session on Sunday, as more governments ordered lockdowns to curb the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic that has slashed the demand outlook for crude.

Brent crude futures fell $1.84, or 6.8%, to $25.14 a barrel by 2215 GMT. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.26, or 5.6%, to $21.37 a barrel.

Fed announces more emergency moves to stem dollar, liquidity strains

The US Federal Reserve continued to roll out emergency support on Friday as it enhanced efforts with other major central banks to ease a global dollar-funding crunch, backstopped a market essential for US state and local government finances and ramped up its purchases of mortgage-backed securities.

In a coordinated move, the Fed said it would enhance the permanent US dollar liquidity swap line arrangements it has with the Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, European Central Bank and Swiss National Bank to further ease dollar funding stress abroad.

The Fed said that it would increase the frequency of 7-day maturity operations from weekly to daily, starting on March 23, and continuing at least through the end of April. The central banks will also continue to hold weekly 84-day maturity operations.

Forex reserves fall $5.35 bn to $481.89

The country's foreign exchange reserves fell for the first time in almost six months to $481.89 billion in the week ended March 13, after touching a record high of $487.23 billion, according to weekly data released by the Reserve Bank of India. In the reporting week, the reserves declined by $5.35 billion. It had touched a life-time high of $487.23 billion in the week to March 6, after it rose $5.69 billion.

The last time forex reserves declined was in the week to September 20, 2019, when it had fallen by $388 million to $428.58 billion. The fall in forex reserves in the week to March 13 was on account of decrease in foreign currency assets (FCA), a major component of the overall reserves. FCA declined by $3.78 billion to $447.36 billion in the reporting week.

Rupee drops by 8 paise to fresh record low of 75.20 vs USD

The rupee gave up its day's gains to settle 8 paise lower at a fresh life-time low of 75.20 against the US dollar on Friday as forex market continued to grapple with economic uncertainties due to fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic currency opened higher at 74.82 and gained more strength as the day progressed. It went on to hit a high of 74.72 before succumbing to weakening sentiments due to the virus scare. The Indian unit finally settled at 75.20, down 8 paise against the US dollar.

SEBI cracks down on market volatility, makes short selling tough

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on March 20 announced measures to make short-selling of stocks difficult in order to counter the market volatility tiggered by the coronavirus outbreak.

Taking note of the continued abnormally high volatility in the market, the markets regulator said it discussed with stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories appropriate measures that may be taken in the existing circumstances. These measures will be effective from March 23, 2020, and said it will take further suitable action if needed.

RBI to buy govt bonds worth Rs 30,000cr in 2 tranches on March 24 & 30

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will buy government bonds worth Rs 30,000 crore through open market operations (OMO) in two tranches. The auctions are scheduled to be conducted on March 24 and 30.

The stress in certain financial market segments 'is still severe' and financial conditions remain tight, the RBI said in a release. The OMO will ensure liquidity and turnover is adequate in all market segments, it said.

NSE allows stock brokers to work from home

To ensure the soundness of the Indian stock market in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) on March 21 temporarily allowed dealers and employees of brokers to log into trading systems from remote locations to carry out day-to-day activities.

The exchange added that the arrangement will be permitted till April 30 or longer if the situation calls for it. This is the first time stock brokers have been allowed to access the market from their homes.

Brokers association seeks 60 day extension of existing policies from IRDAI

With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak leading to a lockdown in states like Maharashtra, an industry body in the insurance sector has sought some relaxations in the current insurance laws. Insurance Brokers Association of India (IBAI) has sought an extension of the existing policies for 60 days by payment of pro-rata premium at existing terms and conditions from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

In a letter to the insurance regulator, IBAI has sought that IRDAI temporarily waives off 64VB clause for policyholders so that they can continue the coverage and pay premiums at a later date.

India Inc seeks fiscal stimulus, moratorium on debt repayment to mitigate coronavirus impact

To mitigate the impact of coronavirus outbreak on the economy, India Inc has sought a host of measures, including a year-long moratorium by banks on debt repayment, tax cuts and fiscal stimulus amounting to Rs 2 lakh crore to needy citizens through Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer. India has already been facing growth deceleration, with GDP growth falling to 4.7 percent in the third quarter of FY2020. The impact of COVID-19 is likely to drag it down further in the fourth quarter.

The GDP growth could slide to below 5 percent in FY2021 if policy action is not taken urgently, the Confederation of Indian Industry said. “Fiscal and monetary stimulus measures need to be announced urgently,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said. CII has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a fiscal stimulus of 1 percent of the GDP amounting to Rs 2 lakh crore to needy citizens through Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer.

Mutual fund houses to work 'as normal' till March 31

The mutual fund industry will continue to function, even though the Maharashtra government announced a complete lockdown on private offices till March 31 in the wake of the fast-spreading novel coronavirus. A fund official said, “Since stock exchanges will continue to function as normal so all SEBI-registered companies such as mutual funds will remain open. So, financial services have been exempted from this rule.”

FII and DII data

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 3,345.95 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares of worth Rs 2,431.24 crore in the Indian equity market on March 20, provisional data available on the NSE showed.

Stocks under F&O ban on NSE

There are 9 stocks under the F&O ban for March 23. Securities in the ban period under the F&O segment include companies in which the security has crossed 95 percent of the market-wide position limit.

YES Bank, Adani Enterprises, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Vodafone Idea, Jindal Steel & Power, Just Dial, NCC, Punjab National Bank and PVR are present in the list.

With inputs from Reuters & other agencies

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First Published on Mar 23, 2020 07:34 am
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