While the markets recovered most of the losses by the time it shut shop for the day, a positive ending could not materialise. As a consequence, indices in the Indian stock markets closed virtually flat today. BSE-Sensex ended lower to the tune of 35 points, NSE-Nifty remained nearly unchanged. BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices managed to buck the trend as they inched higher by 0.6% and 1.4% respectively. The advance to decline ratio remained pretty even on the Sensex though.
Asian indices closed mostly lower today whereas a mixed trend is being seen across Europe currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 52.6 to the dollar at the time of writing.
While the New Year did bring some cheer in the form of positive ending for the very first week of the year, the markets still have a very long way to go if they were to make new highs. The indications of the same coming any time soon though are very remote indeed. With a good deal of state elections round the corner, it is unlikely that the Government would risk meaningful reforms and this would prevent the economy from picking up steam. Things are not very bright on the international front as well. Furthermore, with positive economic news globally hardly eliciting any response from investors, additional downside looks more a possibility than a significant upside. However, it is important to add that the current time is a good period for investors to lock in attractive long term returns that will result from the India growth story.
Close on the heels of reporting a 20% YoY increase in sales in December, CV major Ashok Leyland found itself in the midst of another positive development. The company has introduced India's first 37-tonne haulage truck with the highest payload of up to 27 tonnes. It is believed that the truck is best suited for applications like construction, ready mix concrete, boom pumps and stone marble. Important to add that high tonnage trucks has become a huge business opportunity in the past few years with almost all truck manufacturers driving into it with full speed. Better economies of scale and improvement in road infrastructure has led to such a development. Thus, Ashok Leyland aims to capture a part of the same through its latest launch. The stock had a flat closing in today's trade.
Also closing flat was Cadila Healthcare, one of India's largest domestic pharma companies. There are news doing the rounds that the company has signed a letter of intent with a biotech company, Microbix Biosystems Inc to market a thrombolytic drug, Urokinase in the north American markets. As per the terms, Zydus will provide the funding that will be required to re-launch the drug in US and Canada and also milestone based payments. The expected market potential of the drug in US alone is expected to reach US$ 400 m by the year 2020. The definitive agreement between the two firms is expected to be signed over the next few months.