Asian stock markets continued on their recovery path and again opened the day in the green. The Japanese stock markets (up 2.9%) led the pack of gainers. Stock markets in Taiwan (up 0.9%), Hong Kong (up 0.2%) and China (up 0.2%) are also trading firm. Following the cue, Indian stock markets have also opened the day on a firm note. Stocks from the realty, consumer durables and IT space are leading the gains. However, stocks from the FMCG space are trading flat.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 90 points (0.5%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 24 points (0.5%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading firm, with both the BSE Midcap index and BSE Small cap index up by 0.6% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.97 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Aurobindo Pharma, Fortis Healthcare, Cipla and Apollo Hospital trading in the green. However, Ranbaxy Lab is trading weak. Mylan Inc. has sued the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), seeking to block India's Ranbaxy Lab's exclusive rights to sell a generic version of Pfizer's cholesterol pill Lipitor, the world's best- selling medicine. Lipitor with sales of nearly US$ 8 bn in the US, is a cholesterol-lowering drug. Ranbaxy is expected to launch the generic version of Lipitor in November this year, once Pfizer's patent on the drug expires. Ranbaxy has the first-to-file (FTF) status on the drug which will ensure 180-day marketing exclusivity once it is launched in the US market. Ranbaxy is yet to get final approval from the FDA, and normally that comes close to the launch date. In a complaint filed on March 18, Mylan has said that the USFDA should allow other generic-drug makers, including itself, to enter the market as soon as a patent expires. In its complaint, the company has argued that Ranbaxy is not eligible for marketing exclusivity because of manufacturing violations at two Ranbaxy factories in India. Ranbaxy Lab had fallen by 7% yesterday, its sharpest decline since 26 May 2009.
Engineering stocks have also opened the day on a firm note with Havells, Praj Inds, Thermax and ABB trading in the green. Voltas has announced the setting up of a joint venture with Germany's KION Group GmbH to develop and make forklift trucks and warehousing equipment in India. KION Group, a market leader in Europe in industrial trucks, will hold a majority share in the JV. The material division of Voltas will be transferred to the JV and it will be called Voltas Material Handling (VMH). The JV is expected to start operations in April. Its product range will include diesel, LPG and electric trucks with load capacities of 1.5 tonnes to 16 tonnes and will focus on Indian market with 25 branches and nationwide dealerships. So far, KION has been supplying forklift trucks to India through its Linde Material Handling and STILL brands. Now, VMH will serve the volume market with its competitive product range.