Indian equity markets traded in the positive throughout the trading session today albeit within a range. The indices began the day's proceedings on a cautious note. But buying activity across index heavyweights intensified thereafter pushing the indices higher. This momentum was sustained in the final trading hour as well and the indices closed well above the dotted line. While the Sensex today closed higher by 133 points, the NSE- Nifty today closed higher by 42 points. Both the BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap also did well and notched gains of 1% each. Gains were largely seen in oil and gas stocks and banking stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while most European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.40 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Pharma stocks closed mixed today. While Aurobindo Pharma, Ranbaxy and Cipla found favour, Glenmark and Cadila Healthcare closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, Aurobindo Pharma has received final approval from the US Food & Drug Administration (US FDA) to manufacture and market 'Rizatriptan Benzoate' Tablets in the strengths of 5 mg and 10 mg. This drug is the generic equivalent of Merck and Co's 'Maxalt' Tablets and is indicated for the acute treatment of migraine. The annual sale of the product was pegged at US$ 300 m for the twelve months ending March 2012 according to IMS. This product has been approved out of Unit VII (SEZ) formulations facility in Hyderabad. It must be noted that sales from the US formulations business grew by a robust 50% YoY during 2QFY13 led by many notable product approvals and launches during the quarter. The company now has a total of 171 ANDA approvals from the USFDA. With respect to Unit 6, it been inspected by the FDA with a few observations to which Aurobindo has responded and awaiting for the US regulator to get back. Hence, as of now an element of uncertainty exists as to when this issue will get fully resolved. Having said that, the US pipeline is robust and will be the key growth driver going forward.
Auto stocks also closed mixed today. While the key gainers were Bajaj Auto and Hero Motocorp, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and TVS Motors closed into the red. As per a leading business daily, Hero Motocorp has recorded a marginal increase of 0.2% in sales volumes for the month of December 2012. The company attributed this to the fact that since December is the last month of the calendar year, it usually witnesses sluggish growth in volumes as customers tend to postpone their purchases to the new year. Having said that, the period April-November 2012 too has not seen the auto industry perform too well. Two wheelers during this period witnessed a tepid growth of 4% and Hero Motocorp being the market leader has also been impacted. Infact, during the July-September 2012 quarter, the company reported an 11% fall in sales on the back of a 14% YoY drop in volumes. Meanwhile, the company intends to focus on marketing and customer engagement plans to fuel volumes for the remaining months of the fiscal.