Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in China (up 1.3%), Hong Kong (up 1.1%) and Japan (up 0.8%) are leading the pack of gainers. http://www.equitymaster.com/tm Indian stock markets have opened the day on a strong note. Stocks from IT, consumer durables and banking space are leading the gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 112 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 30 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 0.7% and 1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.47 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Aurobindo Pharma and Piramal Healthcare trading in the green. However, Cipla, GSK Pharma and Orchid Chemicals are trading weak. MNC pharma major, GSK Pharma has been reprimanded and fined by the Supreme Court for selling its drugs at a price higher than that mandated by the DPCO (Drug Price Control Order). The company has been asked to pay a whopping Rs 712.1 m as a settlement for a 20-year old dispute for over pricing drugs that are scheduled under the DPCO. The company has been fighting this case for a while. In 1991, it had received an order in its favour from the Delhi High Court, which had rejected the claim of DCPO as illegal and arbitrary. The company had disputed the order on the grounds that before fixing the price, the government had not taken into account the cost of production for the said drugs. However, the Supreme Court has overturned the order and ruled that the company has to deposit the amount with the Drug Price Equalization Account (DPEA).
State-run coal mining giant Coal India (CIL) has missed its production target for FY11. It produced just 431.3 m tonnes (MT) of coal, against the recently revised lower target of 440.20 MT. CIL's original production target for FY11 had been 460.5 MT. The shortfall has been mainly attributed to hurdles in obtaining environmental clearances for capacity expansion projects. About 154 projects of the world's largest coal miner, spread across over 26,000 hectares of land and with a potential output of about 210 MT, are awaiting environmental clearances at the central and state government levels. The coal ministry in December last year had expressed concerns that delays in the grant of environment clearance to the miner were likely to result in a production loss of about 190 MT, valued at about Rs 188 bn, by March 2012. The Ministry of Environment of Forests (MoEF) has put 203 coal blocks with a potential output of 660 MTPA in nine coalfields under the 'no go' mining zone. The stock of Coal India has opened 0.3% higher.