After opening in the red, the Indian Indices are trading flat in the morning session. The buying interest is highest in metal while the selling pressure is the highest in Energy stocks.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down 20 points and the NSE-Nifty is trading down 12 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up 0.5% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.6%. The rupee is trading at 61.10 to the US dollar.
If early forecasts are to be believed, India is likely to experience a below normal monsoon this year. As per the Indian Meteorological Department's (IMD) 2014 southwest monsoon forecast, there is only a 35% chance of a normal monsoon this year. The main reason for this is the El Nino, which is a weather phenomenon that heats up the Pacific Ocean and causes droughts in south East Asia as well as in India. The El Nino is expected to hit at the same time as the monsoon season. However it must be emphasized that there is no one to one correlation between the El Nino and the monsoon. If the monsoon were to be adversely affected then it would be bad news for agriculture and allied industries. The agriculture sector had performed well last year as India had received an above normal rainfall.
Indian pharmaceutical stocks are trading mixed today. Strides Arcolabs and Panacea Biotech are leading the gainers. Wockhardt Ltd and Dishman Pharma are leading the losers. According to a leading business daily, Ranbaxy Laboratories will soon be launching first generic version of Swiss drug maker Novartis' Diovan (Valsartan) in the US market. It is a blockbuster blood pressure drug and the company will have 180 days exclusive marketing opportunity for the drug in the US. As per the industry sources, the company may have tied up with Hyderabad-based Divis Labs for the active pharma ingredient (API) formulations. Novartis currently earns around US$ 3.4 bn from this drug globally. Ranbaxy is trading 0.6% down today.