The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened in the negative but soon moved into the green. These have managed to add to their gains since then. Other key Asian markets are in the red with China (down 1.2%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed lower by 0.3% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with auto and software majors finding investors' favour. However, telecom giants are facing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 80 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 20 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.24 to the US dollar.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Alfa Laval and Voltas. As per a leading business daily, L&T has won an international order worth Rs 8.5 bn from the public works authority of Qatar for advanced waste water treatment and urban reuse. The project will be executed on a turnkey basis and is scheduled to be operational by 2012. It includes design, supply, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of the Doha south sewage treatment works phase-II expansion. The technology for the project is being provided by US-based ITT Corporation. It may be noted that L&T's international revenues have grown at a fast clip over the last few years. The company has been especially active in the Gulf and Middle East and has benefited from the infrastructure and construction boom in these regions. In our view, this will become a platform for the company to bid for more contracts of large size and complex nature.
Pharma stocks have also opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Dr. Reddy's and Cadila Healthcare. Piramal Healthcare announced its FY10 results. The company posted a revenue growth of 12% YoY in FY10 largely driven by the domestic branded formulations and global critical care businesses. Revenues from the custom manufacturing business fell by 17% YoY during the year. Operating margins fell marginally by 0.4% due to a rise in raw material and staff costs (as percentage of sales). While net profits registered a growth of 52% YoY, the same is largely due to forex losses reported in FY09 as against gains in FY10. Thus, excluding this and extraordinary expenses, net profits grew by 7% YoY. The company's board has recommended a dividend of Rs 5.4 per equity share.