India Market Update: March 2024

Editor’s Note: India’s financial year 2023-24 ended as of March 31. This India Market Update will review the highlights of the Indian FY 2023-24.

India’s financial year 2023-24 has come to an end, and looking back, it has been one of the best years for the Indian stock market with a significant number of stocks achieving their all-time highs.

India’s benchmark index, the Nifty 50 Index, which represents the country’s top 50 blue-chip companies across various sectors, has notched several record highs this financial year reaching 19,000 in June 2023 and surpassing 20,000 and 21,000 in September and December 2023 respectively.1  As for the 2024 calendar year, Nifty crossed the 22,000 mark in January and subsequently recorded a new record high of 22,525 in March.2

Overall, the Nifty’s strong performance can be attributed to robust retail participation and Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPI) inflows as a result of buoyant economic growth, healthy macro-economic indicators like fiscal deficit, Goods and Service Tax Collection etc, robust corporate earnings and political stability.

Graph: Valuations and Earnings of the Nifty50 Index

Throughout this bullish run, the Nifty 50 Index generated a staggering return of 30.08%. 47 out of 50 blue-chip companies in the Nifty 50 Index surged by over 25% with five delivering more than 100% returns in FY 2023-24.3 Notably, three of these high performing stocks belong to the auto sector, which benefitted from strong sales and decreased raw material costs, bolstering their gross margins.

Top Five Performers of the Nifty 50 index for FY24

1. Bajaj Auto Ltd

Bajaj Auto emerged as Nifty 50’s best-performing large cap of FY24 with a remarkable return of 135.90%. Investors lapped up shares of the two-wheeler company on the back of a premiumisation trend in the 350+cc two-wheeler sector.4 The company’s sizeable Rs.4,000 crore stock buyback also lifted sentiment for the stock.5

2. Tata Motors Ltd

Tata Motors was second best-performing stock of FY24. Investors favoured the company based on strong prospects for its luxury arm, Jaguar and Land Rover, as well as its growing presence in the electric vehicle space.

3. Coal India Ltd

The country’s general increase in power demand and growing electrification has sent the coal miner’s stock higher over the last several months.

4. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited

After the meltdown at the end of the previous fiscal following allegations of stock manipulation by American short seller Hindenburg Research, shares of Adani conglomerate’s flagship ports company made a strong comeback in FY24. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone was among the best Nifty performers delivering nearly 115.15% return on the back of the growing prospects for India’s ports sector and its strong standing in this space.6

5. Hero MotoCorp Limited

Another auto stock making its way in the best performing large cap of FY24 with a return of 100.74%.7 The company recently announced a series of new vehicles, and investors have sent the stock higher on hopes of a recovery in rural demand and growing premiumisation in the sector.

Detractors of the Nifty 50 index for FY24


UPL was not only the worst performer in Nifty in FY24 but its steady decline actually got it kicked out of the index a few days before the close of the fiscal year.8 Weak demand haunted the agrochemical sector last year and the company’s growing debt crisis dented sentiment for the stock. The stock declined by 36.53% over the 12-month period.9

2. Hindustan Unilever Limited

The primary reason behind HUL’s underperformance was disappointing Q3 earnings results from industry bellwethers in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods sector. The underperformance across the industry was mainly due to increasing prices of raw materials like palm oil. Concerns such as low rural spending, rising inflation, and high operational costs also kept the stock under pressure.

3. HDFC Bank Ltd

Banking heavyweight HDFC Bank tanked 9.06% during FY24 despite analysts predicting outperformance following the reverse-merger with the parent firm, HDFC.10 However, investors have since expressed concerns over the bank’s net interest margins (NIMs), which have contracted post-merger, coupled with a cautious outlook on the bank’s liability structure.

Index Rebalancing

As part of its biannual review, as of 27th March 2024, the Nifty 50 Index will exclude UPL Ltd and include Shriram Finance Ltd.11 The exclusion of UPL Ltd from the Nifty 50 Index coincide with UPL Ltd’s removal from the large cap Nifty 100 Index, the parent index of the Nifty 50. Shriram Finance’s inclusion was based on having the highest six-month average free-float market capitalization among a list of contenders.12


As of March 31, 2024, the Nifty 50 index trades at a forward looking PE ratio of 20.7x, which represents a slight discount of ~3% compared to its 5-year average of 21.6x.

Related Funds

NDIA: The Global X India Nifty 50 ETF (ASX: NDIA) invests in 50 of the largest companies listed in India.

Forecasts are not guaranteed and undue reliance should not be placed on them. This information is based on views held by Global X as at 17/04/2024.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance

Diversification does not ensure a profit nor guarantee against a loss. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results.