The Indian markets gained momentum post noon and traded well above the dotted line thereafter. The BSE-Sensex closed the day with gains of over 173 points or 0.7%, while the NSE-Nifty closed higher by about 53 points or 0.72%. Stocks from the FMCG, information technology and healthcare sectors were out of favour today, while those from the metals and realty spaces were the most preferred. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices closed higher by about 0.6% and 1.2% respectively today.
Stock markets in other parts of Asia ended the day on a firm note with Japan and Hong Kong markets ending higher by 0.7% and 0.9% respectively. The rupee was trading at Rs 59.21 to the dollar at the time of writing.
As reported by a leading business daily, the Reserve Bank of India has raised the overseas investment ceiling for individuals to US$ 125,000 from US$ 75,000 in its second bi-monthly monetary policy review today. This has been done on the back of stability in the foreign exchange market. Earlier the ceiling was reduced on account of the worsening current account deficit and a volatile rupee. India's current account deficit has narrowed to 1.7% of GDP in FY14 from a record 4.8% of GDP in FY13. RBI cited that the robust portfolio investment inflows aided by foreign direct investments and external commercial borrowings have led to comfortable external financing conditions. Also, they have helped to boost reserves.
Furthermore, the RBI has also given permission to all residents and non-residents to carry up to Rs 25,000 in Indian currency notes while leaving the country. The current limit for carrying domestic currency notes for Indians travelling overseas is Rs 10,000.
Stocks from the pharmaceuticals space were not in demand today with the key losers being Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Wockhardt and Aurobindo Pharma. Aurobindo pharma announced that it has received approval for divalproex sodium extended release tablets from United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). The said drug is equivalent to Abbive Inc.'s brand Depakote ER. This drug is indicated for the treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with biopolar disorder. The market size of the drug is $690 m as on March 2014. One should note, bipolar disorder rates in US are higher as compared to various countries and thus drugs targeting biopolar indication have good demand. This will thus, be a good opportunity for Aurobindo Pharma. However the competition in this market has also intensified as various generic players likes of Dr Reddy's, Sun Pharma, Lupin and various global generic companies hold approvals, with majority of them have launched products. Hence, this drug will offer limited upside to Aurobindo.