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The Indian indices witnessed selling pressure throughout the trading session today as it extended losses for a second straight day amid weak Japanese markets. The sentiments were also hurt on fears of a global slowdown. While the BSE Sensex closed lower by 266 points, the NSE Nifty closed lower by 89 points. The S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Small Cap also followed this trend and finished lower by 1.9% and 1.3% respectively. Losses were largely seen in metal and IT stocks.
Japan's Nikkei index posted its biggest daily drop in nearly three years on Tuesday as a stronger yen dragged down stocks across the board. The Nikkei 225 ended 5.4% lower. The Nikkei has slumped 15% so far in 2016, hit by worries about a slowdown in China's growth and sliding crude oil prices. Major other Asian markets were closed on account of Lunar New Year. European markets steadied today after suffering heavy losses in the previous session. The FTSE 100 is trading higher by 0.51%, while the DAX and the CAC 40 are down 0.27% and 0.18% respectively. The rupee was trading weak at 68.16 against the US$ in the afternoon session.
Automobile stocks languished in red today with Tata Motors DVR and Maruti Suzuki faring the worst. Maruti Suzuki has reported 4.67% fall in its production to 115,782 units in January 2016, as compared to 121,448 units in same month last year. Of total, the company manufactured 36,235 vehicles under mini segment in January 2016, as against 40,826 vehicles manufactured in corresponding month previous year. The company manufactured 49,840 vehicles under Compact segment; 9,718 vehicles under Super Compact and Midsize; 8,729 units under Utility Vehicles segment and 11,260 units under Vans category.
Maruti Suzuki registered a fall of 2.6% in its total car sales (Domestic + Export) for the month of January 2016 at 113,606 units, as against 116,606 units in 2015. The company's domestic sales rose by 0.8% in January 2016 at 106,383 units, as against 105,559 units in corresponding month last year.
In other news from the automobile sector, Hero MotoCorp is reportedly planning to set up a technology development base in Europe. This comes at a time when the company looks to add volumes from exports. Also, the company has acquired expatriates from former partner Honda and other global two wheelers Yamaha and BMW as the company plans to strengthen its R&D segment to face the rising competition. The script of Hero MotoCorp bucked the weak trend and finished the day up by 0.4% on the BSE.
FY16 has been a year of mixed fortunes for the Indian automobile industry. After a long period of slowdown, automobile companies were showing some signs of recovery during the festive season, supported by new launches and a double digit growth in the Utility Vehicle (UV) segment . However, the trend came to an unexpected standstill in the previous month as the Supreme Court banned the registration of diesel cars (Subscription Required) with an engine capacity of over 2000 cubic centimeters (cc) from January to March 2016. Post the ruling, the stock prices of automakers with a substantial share of luxury and diesel vehicles in their product portfolio have taken a hit.
Moving on to the news from the pharma sector. According to a leading financial daily, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories' US subsidiary, Promius Pharma, LLC, US, has received approval for Sernivo (betamethasone dipropionate) Spray, 0.05% from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Sernivo Spray, a prescription topical steroid, is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate plaque psoriasis in patients 18 years of age or older. The commercial launch of the product is planned for the coming quarter.
Meanwhile, India's largest biopharma company, Biocon, is gearing up to enter the regulated markets of the US and the UK with a portfolio of biosimilars. The company is in advanced stages of completing global phase-III trials for four out of nine biosimilar programs in partnership with Mylan, a US-based drug maker. The company recently reported 10.5% YoY growth in total income and 199.9% YoY increase in net profits. Here is our analysis of the results (Subscription Required).
The use of biologics has been increasing rapidly. North America and Europe have become the largest global markets and are growing swiftly. Reportedly, the global biosimilar market (also known as follow-on biologics) is expected to reach US$35 billion in 2020 (Subscription Required), up from US$1.13 billion in 2013. This means this market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 60% from 2014-2020. Hence, besides Biocon, a few of the Indian pharma companies are looking to strengthen their presence in this space given how niche it is.
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