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Markets continue downtrend
Wed, 20 Mar Closing

The Indian stock markets initially opened the day on a positive note. However, they couldn't hold their ground and continued to trade lower for the entire session today. Markets moved progressively lower and finally closed well below the dotted line. Ultimately the markets finished deep in the red. This Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reluctant rate cut did not have much effect on the stock markets. The BSE-Sensex closed negative, lower by around 124 points (0.7%). The NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 51 points (0.9%). The smaller indices also had a negative day on the bourses. The BSE Mid Cap index closed 1.9% lower and the BSE Small Cap index closed 2.3% lower. realty and Power stocks closed lower. FMCG and IT stocks closed higher.

As regards global markets, Asian indices had a mixed outing today. European indices also opened the day mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.32 to the dollar at the time of writing.

IDBI Bank has raised US$ 500 m through long term bonds in highly uncertain market. The yield was fixed at US treasury plus 3%. Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Baa3 rating to proposed issuance of long-term senior unsecured notes under its US$ 3.5 bn Medium Term Note (MTN) program. IDBI's long-term notes will mature in January 2019. They will be listed on Singapore exchange and issued by Dubai branch of IDBI Bank. The rating carries stable outlook. The public sector bank has raised about US$ 2 bn in foreign currency during the current financial year FY13. This will be deployed in funding Indian companies. Just last week, another public sector lender Bank of India had raised US$ 500 m at Treasury plus 2.8%. It received a response which was five times the issue size.

The Indian pharmaceutical market is set to see slower growth in the current March quarter, continuing a trend that was visible in the previous quarter in December. Although major Indian drug makers get a large portion of their sales from overseas markets, India still forms a sizeable part of their revenue. The key segments that is contributing to the slowdown appears to be anti-infectives-the largest segment by revenue. This segment has been lagging compared with the overall market even in the past. Other segments such as anti-diabetic, cardiac, gastro-intestinal, neurology and vitamins have done better than the anti-infective segment, but are also seeing slower growth compared with the past trends. The impact of slower growth will be felt more by multinational companies because their exposure is chiefly to the domestic market. Indian companies, however, get a key part of their revenue from selling drugs in the US, Europe and other emerging markets. Thus, Pfizer, Sanofi, Novartis will be more affected than their domestic counterparts. The S&P BSE Healthcare Index has fallen 1% in 2013 so far, but has done better than the broader market which has declined by 1.5%.

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Feb 19, 2018 (Close)