After paring the morning gains, the Indian markets hovered around the dotted line during the previous hour of trade. The BSE-Sensex is currently trading lower by about 10 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 6 points. Midcaps and smallcaps were in demand today - after witnessing some pressure over the past few days - with their respective indices trading up by about 0.5% each. Stocks from the auto and banking space were the most favoured, while FMCG and information technology packs were out of favour.
At the time of writing, the INR was trading at 63.61 to the US$. Stocks in other Asian markets were trading weak at the time of writing.
Pharmaceutical stocks are currently trading mixed with Wockhardt and Cadila Healthcare leading the pack of losers while Aurobindo Pharma and Strides Arcolab were the highest gainers. The stock of Wockhardt is trading weak on news of the company recalling all batches of medicines that were manufactured at its two plants located at Waluj and Chikalthana prior to the import alerts sanctioned. As per the company, there is no evidence of risk to patients from the products currently available in the US market. The company informed that some observations were made on some products manufactured prior to the import alerts during the last USFDA inspection at these facilities. It may be noted that towards the end of 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued alerts against against the Chikalthana plant. Earlier that year, it had imposed a ban on its Waluj plant. The stock of Wockhardt is trading lower by about 3.8% currently.
Auto stocks are currently trading firm led by Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland. As reported by a leading business daily, auto major Maruti Suzuki is looking to invest as much as Rs 40 bn in FY16 towards new models and marketing expenses. As per the company, this amount would be utilized on enhancing marketing, infrastructure, launching new products as well as on R&D. Some of the major models lined up for launch in the current year include the crossover vehicle SX4 S Cross and premium hatchback code named YRA. The company is also looking to up its efforts to reach the smaller regions in India. Maruti is currently present in 1.25 lakh villages and is looking to expand by 25,000 villages this year. Speaking on his view on the rural demand, Chairman R.C. Bhargava stated that while demand is strong, a lot will depend on the monsoons this year. The stock of Maruti Suzuki is currently trading higher by about 3%.