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Markets begin on a volatile note
Thu, 18 Mar 09:30 am

The Indian markets have started today's session on a volatile note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark, slipped into the red and are inching towards the positive territory since then. Other key Asian markets are trading in the green with Taiwan (up 0.4%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed higher by 0.5% yesterday.

Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading a mixed bag with telecom stocks attracting investors' interest. However, select software stocks are in the red. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 15 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 2 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 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.43 to the US dollar.

Energy stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include HPCL and BPCL. As per a leading business daily, NTPC and Indian Oil plan to jointly produce bio-diesel and specialised lubricants for power plants. They plan to set up an integrated bio-diesel unit for developing new technology. They are also identifying research projects for high end lubricants, which are in great demand at a time when around 180,000 MW of additional power generation capacity is set to come up in the 11th and 12th five year plans. While the projects are still in their initial stages, the tie up makes business sense as NTPC is one of the largest customers of Indian Oil for industrial lubricants and other oils. Currently, most of these products are imported. Bio-diesel is a focus area with the government planning to replace around 10% of the requirement of petroleum products in India through bio-fuels.

Pharma stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Dishman Pharma and Panacea Biotech. As per a leading business daily, Lupin has received the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) approval for its anti-depressant. The company can now make imipramine hydrochloride tablets of 10 mg, 25 mg and 50 mg strengths. The market size for the product in the US is estimated at US$ 21 m. This is the fifth drug approval for the company since January this year when the FDA cleared its Mandideep facility. As such, this is a positive development for the company.

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Feb 21, 2018 (Close)