The Indian markets had a rather volatile trading session today. While the morning session saw the indices struggling to stay afloat, the afternoon session was marked by persistent selling pressure that kept the indices in the red. The BSE-Sensex closed lower by about 50 points, while the NSE-Nifty ended lower by about 7 points. Losses were largely seen in banking and auto stocks. The S&P BSE Midcap index and the S&P BSE Smallcap index bucked the trend and closed higher by 0.6% and 0.1% respectively.
Asian stocks ended the day on a mixed note, while stocks in Europe were also trading mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 63.43 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Auto stocks closed mixed today. While Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki found favour, Hero Motocorp and TVS Motors closed into the red. Most auto companies have reported volume numbers for the month of April 2015. In the two wheeler segment, the volume numbers are mixed. For instance, Hero Motocorp reported 6.6% YoY drop in volumes during the month. This was attributed to lower rural demand, which was on account of unseasonal rains witnessed in the month of March. TVS Motors, on the other hand, reported a 14% YoY growth in volumes during the month led by healthy performance in both 2 wheelers as well as 3 wheelers. Tata Motors reported a 7% YoY growth in volumes for the same period. While passenger cars and heavy commercial vehicles (MHCVs) grew at a healthy pace, there was a decline in volumes of utility vehicles (UVs) and light commercial vehicles (LCVs). However, Maruti Suzuki reported a robust 29.6% YoY growth in volumes led by both the domestic as well as the export markets.
Pharma stocks also closed mixed today. While Sun Pharma and Aurobindo Pharma found favour, Glenmark and Cipla closed weak. As per the company press release, Glenmark has received tentative approval from the US FDA for Calcipotriene Cream, 0.005%. This is the generic version of the drug 'Dovonex Topical Cream' whose innovator is Leo Pharma. Dovonex is indicated for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. According to IMS Health sales data for the 12 month period ending March 2015, the Dovonex market generated annual sales of approximately US$ 92.8 m. Glenmark is already a strong play in the dermatology segment and this approval will further help it strengthen its presence in this space. It is also a positive development considering the fact that in FY15, the pace of US FDA approvals for drugs filed by the company had considerably slowed down.