The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened at the breakeven mark, but soon darted into the positive where they have been able to stay since then. Other key Asian markets are trading in the green with Hong Kong (up 0.6%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed higher by 0.7% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with auto and metal majors finding investors' favour. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 42 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 15 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading lower by 0.7% and 1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.6 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Dishman Pharma and IPCA Labs. As per a leading business daily, Cipla has developed three low-cost generic medicines to treat blood pressure, allergic rhinitis and control excessive bleeding in women during delivery. The first drug is a combination of hypertension drugs and is branded as Cresar AM. The second drug is for the inflammation of nasal passages and is branded as Furamist Aze. The third drug is a 600 microgram tablet branded as MisoProst priced at Rs 52 per pill. It will help in reducing delivery related deaths especially in rural hospitals. Cipla plans to sell the new products in India and markets where the drugs lack patent protection. It may be noted that the company recently sold its over the counter, emergency contraceptive drug i-pill in order to better concentrate on its generics business.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include NMDC and JSW Steel. As per a leading business daily, the plans of SAIL and Posco to set up a steel plant in Bokaro, Jharkhand have hit roadblocks on the question of location and control. Posco wants a controlling stake as it will provide the FINEX technology and capital expenditure for the steel making facility. SAIL wants the controlling stake as it will provide land and infrastructure around its existing plant. There is also a view that this joint venture should not interfere with the brownfield expansion at existing plant. There are also issues regarding pricing of iron ore, valuation of SAIL's contribution, manpower related issues. These issues will be tackled by a joint task force. In our view, both the parties will be keen at the end of the day. Posco has made little progress in its project in Orissa. SAIL would want access to the latest technology.