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Indian share markets widen losses
Tue, 26 Feb 01:30 pm

As selling pressure intensified, Indian share markets nosedived further in the post-afternoon trading session. Majority of the sectoral indices are trading negative with oil and gas, auto and capital goods stocks being the biggest losers. Only FMCG and IT stocks are trading in green.

BSE-Sensex is down 194 points and NSE-Nifty is trading down by 59 points. While BSE Mid Cap is down 1.4%, BSE Small Cap index is down by 1.8%. The rupee is trading at 54.1 to the US dollar.

Majority of the FMCG stocks are trading in red with Archies and Bata India being the major losers. However, Hindustan Unilever and Dabur are trading strongly. As per a leading financial daily with consumer demand showing signs of moderation, FMCG companies have been raising ad-spends to boost consumption and gain market share. Recently FMCG behemoth Hindustan Unilever (HUL) filed a case against the Indian subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser for denigrating its Vim product in a comparative advertisement of the latter's Dettol Kitchen dishwashing liquid. Even Colgate-Palmolive started an aggressive advertisement campaign of its gum toothpaste after Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare launched global brand Parodontax in the Indian market. As per Advertisement Standards Council of India (ASCI), the best way for an entrant to capture market share is to claim superiority and if the claims are based on facts then it is legitimate as it provides consumers with more information about the products they are using. Advertisement agencies see an escalation in ad-spends among consumer companies going forward.

Most of the domestic pharma stocks are trading are in red with Panacea Biotech and Dishman Pharma being among the top losers. Mylan, a US based generic company has announced launch of Antara generics. This drug is equivalent to Lupin's brand Antara, which generates annual revenues of around $60 m in US as per the report. Lupin was in litigation with Mylan and other generic companies over this drug. Mylan had received USFDA approval on this drug some time back. It is still not clear whether, Mylan's launch is "at risk" or not. Antara is part of Lupin's branded portfolio and is among the important contributor to the company's top line. Lupin was trading down by 2.0%.

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