Indian stock markets witnessed a strong session today. The indices began the day's proceedings on a positive note, and thereon buying momentum was maintained throughout the session, although movement was largely rangebound. The scenario was no different in the final trading hour as well and the indices closed well above the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 135 points (up 1%), the NSE-Nifty closed higher by around 42 points (up 1%). The BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap were, however at the receiving end as they closed lower by 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. Gains were largely seen in consumer durables and banking stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed firm today while European indices have also opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 49.23 to the dollar at the time of writing.
GSK Pharma announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 2011. The company reported 11% YoY growth in sales for the full year. This growth was largely led by specialty products, vaccines and new product launches. The specialty business did well fuelled by the launch of products from the parent company's global portfolio as well as branded generics. Operating margins, however, came under pressure and these declined from 35.9% in CY10 to 32.9% in CY11. This was on account of rise in all cost heads (as percentage of sales). Net profits (excluding extraordinary items) grew by 9% YoY and were higher than the 2% YoY growth in operating profits on account of higher other income. The stock closed lower today.
Steel stocks closed mixed today. While Maharashtra Seamless and Steel Authority of India (SAIL) found favour, Tata Steel and Hindustan Zinc closed into the red. As per a leading business daily, Steel Authority of Indian (SAIL) and Hindustan Copper Ltd are looking to form a consortium of public sector units to bid for copper and gold deposits in Afghanistan and would consider teaming up with private sector companies later.Nalco and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd would also be roped into the consortium with the option of bringing in private sector companies later. This move is line with the Indian government's strategy of establishing a mineral and geo political base in the country. Plans on the anvil also include setting up iron ore mines worth US$ 10.8 bn, a 6.12 m tonnes (MT) steel plant, an 800 MW power plant. Benefits from this would be long term in nature and SAIL will have to contend with security risks that it is most likely to face in the country.