All Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in Singapore (up 0.5%), Japan (up 0.5%), South Korea (up 0.8%) and Malaysia (up 0.9%) are leading the gains. Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flat note. Stocks from the technology and realty space are trading firm. However, FMCG and healthcare stocks are trading in the red.
The BSE-Sensex is trading marginally higher by around 5 points (0.03%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 5 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 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.67 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Sun Pharma, Divi's Lab and Lupin trading in the red. However, Ranbaxy Labs is trading firm. Indian pharma major Ranbaxy Labs has declared its results for the first quarter ended March 2011 (the company has a December year ending). Consolidated sales registered a decline of 14% YoY from Rs 24.8 bn in 1QCY10 to Rs 21.5 bn in 1QCY11. While sales in emerging markets grew by 12% YoY (Rs 10.6 bn), the developed markets posted a decline of 30% YoY (Rs 9.5 bn). The bottomline dropped by 68% YoY from about Rs 9.6 bn in 1QCY10 to approximately Rs 3 bn in 1QCY11. However, the company has stated that the revenue and profit numbers are not strictly comparable to the previous period as the numbers in the previous quarter included one-time upside of the exclusive marketing opportunities in the US market.
Banking stocks have also opened the day on a weak note with United Bank, Oriental Bank and State Bank of India (SBI) trading in the red. The country's largest bank, SBI has raised its lending rates by 0.75%. The minimum lending rate for SBI now stands at 9.25%. The benchmark prime lending rate now stands at 14%. SBI has also increased the interest rates on its deposits. It has increased the rates by 2.25% for four of its deposit products. The increase in interest rates follows the announcement made by the Reserve Bank of India wherein it had hiked its lending and borrowing rates by 0.5%. The increase in interest rates by SBI would make its housing as well as other loans more expensive for the borrowers. Several other banks including Punjab National Bank and ICICI Bank have increased their interest rates over the past few days.