Barring Japan (up 0.1%), nearly all the Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stock markets in Korea (down 1.2%), Singapore (down 1%) and Hong Kong (down 1%) are leading the losses in the region. The Indian stock markets have however opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the consumer durables and FMCG space are leading the pack of gainers.
The BSE-Sensex is up by around 19 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 4 points (0.1%). However, mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the negative zone, with the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap indices down by about 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 49.25 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a negative note with Biocon, Fortis and Wockhardt leading the losses. In a rare case, the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has stated that it will import the generic version of cancer drug Lipidox from Sun Pharma. Usually a generic drug has to get a clearance from US FDA before it can be imported into the US. However, owing to a shortage of the drug in the country, the FDA has decided to cut short the process and import the drug directly. US has been facing a shortage of the anti cancer drug, Doxil, since June 2011. As a result the US FDA has been under pressure to find a generic alternative. However, it has stated that this is a temporary, limited agreement. Sun Pharma has not yet disclosed as to how long it will continue to supply the drug.
Auto stocks have opened the day on weak note with Ashok Leyland, Maruti Suzuki and Bajaj Auto leading the pack of losers. Hero MotoCorp has recently signed a technology sharing agreement with US based motorcycle manufacturer, Erik Buell Racing (EBR). Under this agreement, Hero MotoCorp will buy technology from EBR. However, there would be no profit sharing or ownership transfer in this deal. As per the company, EBR is already working on some of Hero's products. It is in the process of developing new bikes and scooters for the company, which are expected to be launched in the market by 2013. Hero MotoCorp earlier had a technology pact with Japan based Honda Motors which had come to an end last year.