After trading in the green for most part of the day, the Indian markets dipped below the dotted line towards the end as selling activity increased in the final hour of trade. The BSE-Sensex closed the day lower by about 125 points, while the NSE-Nifty ended with losses of about 33 points. While weakness was seen in certain sectors such as consumer durables and metal, those from the healthcare and FMCG space led the pack of gainers. Midcaps and smallcaps ended the day on a negative note as well with the S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Smallcap indices closing lower by about 0.5% and 0.6% respectively
European markets are mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 1.18% while the FTSE 100 gains 0.48%. The DAX is down by about 0.22%. Asian markets finished broadly higher with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is up 2.48% while Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.28% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.23%.The rupee was trading weak by 4 paise at 63.63 in the afternoon session against the US$.
Stocks of Hindustan Unilever emerged as the top performing stocks in the Sensex pack after it was reported that the company may consider acquiring Kerala-based ayurvedic hair and skin care brand Indulekha for Rs 5 bn. The planned acquisition will be the company's first since acquiring the cooked shrimp and pasteurized crabmeat business of the Amalgam Group of Companies in 2003. Hindustan Unilever had earlier exited the hair oil business by selling Nihar brand to Marico in 2006. Indulekha, however, is a new generation ayurvedic solutions business that could gel with HUL's Ayush services business, which is a relatively small business as compared to the size of its other big brands. The FMCG major has also launched value-added premium specialized hair oils under Dove.
Stocks in the engineering sector ended the trading day on a mixed note. According to a leading financial daily, Crompton Greaves has entered into a long term alliance with SOGO, a European competitor in consumer appliances. The Spanish consumer appliances company is engaged in the marketing and worldwide sales of kitchen and home appliances and personal care products under the brand name of SOGO since 1981. This alliance enables Crompton to offer a new range of high performance kitchen appliances to the Indian consumer. Reportedly, through this alliance Crompton will leverage SOGO's robust cost effective supply chain to introduce the new range of products through its well established distribution network with a target of reaching 9000 premium retail counters.