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Sensex Surges 285 Points; Pharma Stocks Top Gainers
Mon, 2 Apr Closing | Parth Parekh, TM Team

After opening the day flat share markets in India witnessed volatile trading activity throughout the day and ended the day firmly in green. Sectoral indices too ended the day in green, with stocks in the pharma sector and stocks in the auto sector leading the gains.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 287 points (up 0.9%) and the NSE Nifty closed up by 98 points (up 1%). The BSE Mid Cap index ended the day up 1.4%, while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day up by 2.4%.

Asian stock markets finished mixed. As of the most recent closing prices, the Hang Seng was up by 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite was down by 0.2%. The Nikkei 225 was down by 0.3%. Meanwhile, European markets were trading on a positive note. The FTSE 100 was up by 0.2%, The DAX, was up by 1.3% while the CAC 40 was up by 0.7%.

The rupee was trading at Rs 65.01 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 65.17 at the time of writing.

Dr Reddy's share price ended the day higher, after the company and its American subsidiary, Promius Pharma, LLC announced the filing of a New Drug Application (NDA) for its migraine candidate DFN-02 with the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA).

According to the company, the drug, DFN-02 has demonstrated that it can effectively treat pain and associated symptoms during a migraine attack and reduce attack-related functional disability.

Upon approval, the product will be commercialised by Promius Pharma.

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Indian pharma companies catering to the US markets are breathing a sigh of relief. After being adversely affected by import bans and the suspension of new drug approvals from manufacturing facilities in the past three years, there has been a sharp pick-up in new drug approvals in FY17.

Expediting Drug Approval Process to be a Positive for Industry

However, note that USFDA alerts on Indian pharma companies have increased over the past few years. Regulators used to visit the plants every two years. Now they come every eight months. Increasing inspections have led to a total of 41 import alerts in the past eight years - 33 of them (80%) in just the last four years (2013-16). This clearly signifies increased USFDA scrutiny on Indian pharma firms. If that wasn't enough, increasing pricing pressure in the generics segment has dented realisations.

However, the recent development of USFDA expediting the drug approval process can bring some respite for Indian pharma companies. This comes as drug approvals for Indian companies have gone up 50% in the period from January to June 2017 compared to the same period last year.

While short-term pain is expected, companies with strong R&D capabilities and compliant plants will do well over the long term. The uncertainties make it important to be stock specific in the sector. It is important to look for companies that have the competence and staying power to overcome the challenges.

Dr Reddy's share price ended the day up by 0.8%.

In the news from stocks in the engineering sector, BHEL share price ended the day on an encouraging note today.

The surge came after the state-run PSU bagged orders worth Rs 44 billion Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (UPRVUNL).

UPRVUNL is setting up a 660 MW mw supercritical thermal power plant, in Panki in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

The project will be executed by BHEL on engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) basis.

The key equipment for the project will be manufactured at BHEL's Trichy, Haridwar, Hyderabad, Ranipet, Bhopal, Bengaluru and Jhansi plants, while the company's power sector - northern region division will be responsible for construction and installation activities at the site. The plant shall be equipped with emission control equipment to meet the revised emission norms, notified by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change. BHEL has supplied equipment to over 70% of the state's power generating capacity, aggregating to more than 17,800 mw.

BHEL share price ended the day higher by 1.4%.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

The ICICI Bank share price fell 6% due to the reports that the bank had sanctioned Rs 32.5 billion in loans to the Videocon Group because its chairman Venugopal Dhoot supposedly had dealings with NuPower Renewables, founded by ICICI Bank's MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar.

The last time we reviewed the stock, it had broken the channel's support line. After the break-out, the stock bounced up a bit, but the bulls couldn't hold the gains. It slipped sharply and today it is down 6%. It touched a low of 259 in today's session.

But there's hope. The 260 level has acted as a strong support level for the stock in the past.

So it will be interesting to see if the stock can find support again this time or will it continue to slip lower given the bearish momentum?

ICICI Bank Near Support Level
 ICICI Bank Near Support Level

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