Buying activity picked up during second half of today's trading session, leading Indian stocks to end the day on a firm note. The BSE-Sensex ended higher by about 370 points or 1.7%, while the NSE-Nifty ended higher by about 100 points or 1.5%. Barring stocks from the information technology space, gains were seen across the board. Stocks from the banking and capital goods spaces led the pack of gainers today. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices ended higher by about 1.7% and 1.9% respectively.
Stock markets in other parts of Asia ended the day on a firm note with China and Hong Kong closing higher by about 0.3% and 1.1% respectively. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.07 to the dollar at the time of writing.
As per rating agency Crisil, revenue growth for India Inc (excluding financial services and oil companies) is expected to come in at levels of 7% to 9% on a year on year basis in the quarter ended March 2014. This growth rate is expected to be slower than the average of 10% reported in the preceding two quarters i.e. the quarters ended September and December 2013. The key reason for the lower estimates is the higher base for particular sectors such as capital goods, real estate, cars and utility vehicles. Also, it is expected that the export oriented sectors will do well on the back of the weaker currency. As such, sectors such as information technology, pharmaceuticals, readymade garments and cotton yarn will drive the earnings growth. Investors are however advised to look at the performance of companies from a long term perspective, rather than basing their investment decisions based on short term performances.
Stocks of Indian pharmaceutical companies ended the day on a firm note led by Sun Pharmaceuticals and Ranbaxy Laboratories. Both these stocks have been seeing strong gains over the past few days, ever since the former announced acquisition of the latter. One of the reasons for the gains today seem to be the fact that Ranbaxy saw some good news in the form of clearances from the US FDA for its R&D centre at Gurgaon as well as its clinic research centre at Terapia, Romania. This is a positive development for both the companies considering that Ranbaxy has been facing issues related to some of its plants being banned for exporting products to the US, the world's biggest healthcare market. It was in 2006 when these issues began to crop up. All eyes would now be on the management of Sun Pharmaceuticals and what it intends to do in terms of resolving the USFDA issues at the earliest.