The Indian markets have started today's session on a volatile note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark, fell thereafter but have managed to claw back towards the positive territory since then. Other key Asian markets are trading in the red with China (down 0.6%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed lower by 0.1% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading a mixed bag with energy and power stocks attracting investors' interest. However, auto stocks are trading weak. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 1 point, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 5 points. However, buying interest is being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.68 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Indoco Remedies and Panacea Biotech. As per a leading business daily, Cadila Healthcare has filed for the next phase of clinical trials for a swine flu vaccine after completing the first phase. The company expects to get the requisite permission this month. The company is among the few Indian companies who are in advanced stages of developing the vaccine. Last month, Serum Institute of India had completed the first phase of trials. Panacea Biotech is also working on the vaccine. Cadila plans to launch the product in April this year. It will initially produce around 500,0000 doses, which will doubled to 1 m doses in the next six months. It may be noted that the company's domestic formulations business has grown at a CAGR of 9% in the past five years. Given its efforts to introduce new product in India, we expect robust growth for the company on the domestic front.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include Infosys and Wipro. As per a leading business daily, Infosys plans a salary hike across board in April this year as it seeks to restore incentives after the economic downturn last year. This step clearly indicates the IT major's opinion that business is going to be normal in the near future. In our view, this provides positive signals for the IT sector as a whole. In fact, industry body Nasscom has predicted double digit growth rates for FY11. However, with the revival of prospects we also expect the old bugbear of the industry - salary pressure and attrition to make a comeback.