Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Stock markets in Singapore (up 1.3%), Hong Kong (up 0.9%) and China (up 0.4%) are trading on a strong note. However, the stock markets in Japan (down 0.2%) and Indonesia (down 0.2%) are trading in the red. Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flat note. Stocks from the metal and realty space are trading firm. However, auto stocks are trading in the red.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 15 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 3 points (0.1%). However, mid and small cap stocks are trading firm with both the BSE Midcap index and BSE Small cap index up by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.65 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Cadilla Healthcare, Divi's Lab and IPCA Labs trading firm. However, Piramal Healthcare and Apollo Hospitals are facing significant selling pressure. Cadilla Healthcare has declared its results for the quarter and full year ended March 2011. Its topline has registered a rise of 43% YoY during the quarter and 26% YoY during the full year 2010-11. The rise was led by a robust growth in its export business. The company's operating margins improved by 0.3% from 19.9% in FY10 to 22.2% during FY11 due to a fall in raw material charges (as percentage of sales). The modest improvement at the operating level, forex gains and reduction in interest and depreciation costs helped the bottomline to grow by 42% YoY during 4QFY11 and by 39% YoY during the full year ended March 2011.
Food stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Nestle, United Spirits and ITC Ltd trading in the green. ITC Ltd plans to expand its portfolio of non-tobaccos segments to the top-end personal care and food segment using the top-down strategy. The company had entered the lifestyle retailing and stationery markets nearly a decade ago, with the launch of the premium segment 'Wills Lifestyle' and 'Paperkraft' brands. Later, it expanded its presence through the launch of mass products in the segments. This strategy had worked very well for ITC. The company now plans to adopt a similar strategy in the personal care and food segments. As per the management, the top-down approach would work well for the company due to the Indian customers' preference for premium and imported products. ITC plans to invest Rs 80 bn in non-cigarette FMCG segment over the next 7-8 years.