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Indian markets open firm
Tue, 29 Mar 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets Japan (down 1.3%) and Indonesia (down 0.7%) trading in the red. However, stocks markets in China (up 0.2%) and Taiwan (up o.1%) are trading firm. Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks from auto and consumer durable space are leading the gains. However, stocks from the realty and healthcare space are trading weak.

The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 44 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 12 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading firm, with both the BSE Midcap index and BSE Small cap index up by 0.3% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.79 to the US dollar.

Steel stocks have opened the day on a weak note with SAIL, Tata Steel, Jindal Steel and Bhushan Steel trading in the red. Steel major Tata Steel has devised a novel way to produce iron-ore from waste. The technology is similar to a patented technology of Japan’s Kobe Steel used for the production of iron ore nuggets. The process has been tested by Tata Steel at its research and development centre. Currently, the company dumps its waste in a vast storage pond. However, it may soon run out of storage space. The new process will allow that waste material to be commercially used during the process of iron ore beneficiation. This will help cut steelmaking costs.

The company plans to build a pilot plant in Jamshedpur to test the technology commercially. It is deliberating with the central government for the same.

Pharma stocks have also opened the day on a weak note with Apollo Hospital, Sun Pharma, Ranbaxy Lab and Jubilant Life trading in the red. Dr Reddy's Lab, the Indian pharma company, has launched Levocetirizine tablets in the US market. The drug, which is the generic version of UCB Inc's Xyzal tablets, is used to treat or prevent symptoms of allergies. It is also used to help reduce itchy skin rash and hives. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its abbreviated new drug application for levocetirizine tablets on February 24. The company has launched the tablet in 5 mg strength in the US market. According IMS Health Sales data, levocetirizine tablets posted sales of about US$ 238 m in the US market for the 12-month period ended September 30, 2010.

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