Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with Indonesia (up 0.4%) and Taiwan (up 0.2%) leading the gains. However, markets in Japan (down 0.8%) and Hong Kong (down 0.5%) are trading weak. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a negative note. Stocks in the realty and capital goods space are leading the losses. However, healthcare stocks are trading firm.
The Sensex today is down by around 19 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 12 points (0.2%). However, mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.2% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.09 to the US dollar.
Indian Pharma stocks have mainly opened the day on a firm note with Biocon Ltd, Aurobindo Pharma and IPCA Labs leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Indian pharma firm Aurobindo Pharma has signed a binding offer agreement to acquire commercial operations of Irish multinational drugmaker Activis Plc in seven Western European countries. Aurobindo is expecting to acquire personnel, commercial infrastructure, products, marketing authorisations and dossier licence rights in these countries. The closing of the transaction will depend on certain anti-trust approvals and completion of employee consultation processes. The company has not disclosed the financial details of the deal. As per management estimates, the net sales for the acquired businesses would be around 320 million euros in 2013 with a growth rate of over 10% year-on-year.
Oil and gas stocks have mainly opened the day on a weak note with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, state-run oil companies IOC, BPCL and HPCL have set a benchmark price for procuring ethanol for blending with petrol. In a joint statement to the petroleum ministry, the three companies have said that they will procure ethanol only from bidders that match the benchmark price of Rs 44 per litre. This has resulted in protests from supplier sugar mills as cane prices are increasing while global sugar prices are falling. It must be noted that the government's ethanol blending programme which commenced in 2006, has witnessed delays on account of pricing issues between the oil companies and sugar mills.