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After opening the day on a weak note, the Indian indices continued to trade in the red. Sectoral indices are trading on a discouraging note with stocks from the telecom, consumer durables and power sector witnessing maximum selling pressure.
The BSE Sensex is trading down 90 points (down 0.4%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down 26 points (down 0.3%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading marginally higher and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.2%. The rupee is trading at 66.45 to the US$.
Stocks in the steel space are trading on a mixed note with Jindal Steel & Power and Maharashtra Seamless leading the losses. As per an article in Economic Times, India's consumption of total finished steel saw a growth of 4.3% in 2015-16 as against 2014-15. The growth was mostly led by imports, which accounted for 14% of the country's total consumption.
Data by Steel Ministry's Joint Plant Committee (JPC) pointed that India remained a net importer of steel in FY 16. The inbound shipments grew by 20.2% to 11.21 million tonnes (MT) as against 9.32 MT in 2014-15.
Further, it was reported that after registering four consecutive months of decline, steel imports rose by over 18% in March on a YoY basis. Also, domestic steel consumption in March stood at 7.31 MT, a growth of 3.7% compared with February and 1.4% compared to March last year.
The above development does not bode well for the domestic steel producers. One shall note that the steel industry is facing tough times. Weak global demand, cheap imports and falling prices have dented the financials of the domestic steel producers.
And to address these alarming imports, the government has taken some steps such as imposing safeguard taxes in September 2015 and setting a minimum import price (MIP) in February 2016. This move has been labeled as a 'game changer' for steel companies. Reportedly, MIP has led to improvement in the prices of steel and improvement in the financials of the industry players.
However, do these initiatives by the government make economic sense in the long term? One of our editions of The 5 Minute WrapUp titled 'Govt Fixing Steel Prices: Is Make in India Just a Slogan?' answers why a MIP can hurt the Indian economy. You can read the same here.
Pharmaceutical stocks are also trading on a mixed note with Elder Pharma and Panacea Biotech leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Dr Reddy's Laboratories has entered into active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) supply and joint development agreements with the US-based Cutis Pharma.
The company has entered into these agreements to advance several programs in Cutis Pharma's R&D portfolio, including RM-02, RM-03, and RM-06, toward FDA approval.
The partnership is said to have significant strategic benefits for both the entities. Dr Reddy's breadth of expertise and international infrastructure will provide great synergy to Cutis Pharma's own R&D and commercial organisations.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited is an integrated global pharmaceutical company that is engaged in providing medicines. The company operates in three segments viz. global generics, pharmaceutical services and active ingredients (PSAI), and proprietary products. The company has established quite a strong portfolio in US and various other markets. The company continues to work towards varied niche products, which will be important growth drivers going forward. To know our view on the stock of the company, you can read the entire result analysis report here (subscription required).
Presently the stock of Dr Reddy's Laboratories is trading up by 2.2%.
By the way, April 2016 is a very special month for us at Equitymaster. We complete 20 years of service to millions of readers and subscribers.
And that's why we're in a celebratory mood.
Not only are we celebrating the success of The Equitymaster Way but also our success in earning the trust of subscribers who've been with us throughout this two-decade journey. And as the countdown to our anniversary begins, we would like to invite you to share some of your experiences with us over the years. You can do the same by posting your experiences here.
For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!