The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with Taiwan market (up 0.7%) and China market (up 0.4%), leading the gainers whereas Singapore market ( down 0.4%) and Hong Kong market (down 0.3%) are the major losers. The Indian markets have opened firm. Barring pharma and IT, all the sectoral indices are trading in the green with stocks from consumer durables and oil and gas being the biggest gainers.
BSE-Sensex is currently trading up by about 65 points (up 0.22%), while the NSE-Nifty is higher by about 23 points (up 0.27%). The BSE Mid Cap has opened the day in green, up by 0.44% and BSE Small Cap has opened firm, up by 0.33%. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.68 to the dollar.
Majority of the domestic pharma stocks are trading firm with Elder Pharma and Panacea Biotech being the major gainers. The proposed merger of Sun Pharmaceuticals and Ranbaxy Laboratories has come one step closer after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has completed the review of the said acquisition and has granted early termination of the waiting period. The early termination of the waiting period under the Hart- Scott- Rodino Improvements Act is an important condition for the closing of the Ranbaxy acquisition. Under the consent agreement accepted by FTC, Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy will have to divest the latter's interests in generic monocycline tablets and capsules to an external third party. Sun Pharma is up 0.3% whereas Ranbaxy stock is marginally up.
Most of the FMCG stocks are trading in the green with Lakshmi Energy and Hindustan Unilever being the major gainers. As per a leading financial daily, Unilever's Chief Executive Paul Polman will be meeting the Prime Minister to discuss how its Indian subsidiary Hindustan Unilever (HUL) can participate in the social initiatives including the Swachh Bhart Mission. The Swachh Bharta Mission aims to build more than 800 m toilets and modern sewage systems to overcome problems of open defecation and open drains. Unilever has targeted to inculcate the habit of hand cleaning in nearly one billion people through Lifebuoy Handwash and provide toilet access to 25 m people through campaign for toilet cleaner Domex by the end 2015. Similarly the company's water filter brand Pureit has committed to provide 150 m litres of safe drinking water. HUL stock is presently trading up 2%.