Barring Japan (up 2.3%) and Indonesia (up 0.1%), all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Hong Kong (down 0.7%) and South Korea (down 0.9%) leading the losses. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day in the red. The sectoral indices have opened on a mixed note with stocks in the oil and gas and IT space leading the gains. However, metal and realty stocks are facing selling pressure.
The Sensex today is down by around 37 points (0.2%), while the NSE- Nifty is down by around 15 points (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks have opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.1% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.83 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day mainly in green with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, IndraPrastha Gas Ltd (IGL) is keen to buy Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 5.2 % stake in the country's largest liquefied natural gas importer Petronet LNG Ltd (PLNG). Earlier, PLNG's promoters had shown interest in buying ADB's 5.2% stake. However, Petronet's management was opposed to it since this would have turned the PLNG into a government entity. As per industry sources, since IGL is a private company, its buying ADB stake will not alter Petronet's character. This will satisfy both the company management and the oil ministry.
Indian Pharma stocks have opened the day in the red with Piramal Enterprises Ltd and Aurobindo Pharma Ltd leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Dr Reddy's Laboratories has recently launched Finasteride tablets (1 mg) in US. Finasteride is indicated for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and male pattern baldness. The company's abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for the tablet has been given a 180-day period of marketing exclusivity in the US on January 02, 2013. Finasteride tablet is a bioequivalent generic version of Propecia (Finasteride) tablets which is marketed by a Merck subsidiary in the US market. It had estimated US$136 m sales for 12 months ended October 2012.Under the exclusivity period, DRL would be the only company other than the innovator to market the drug for six months in the US.