Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stock markets in South Korea (down 2%) and Japan (down 0.5%), Indonesia (down 0.8%), China (down 1.3%) and Hong Kong (down 2.1%) are trading in the red. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note as well. Stocks in the realty and technology (IT) are leading the losses.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 184 points (1%) and the NSE-Nifty is down by around 53 points (1%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the red as well, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices down by 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.46 to the US dollar.
FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods) stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Marico and Dabur trading in the red. However, Nestle and Colgate Palmolive are trading in the green. Reinforcing its faith in India, the world's largest consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble (P&G) has decided to invest Rs 34.5 bn in P&G Home Products. P&G Home Products is the unlisted subsidiary of the global major in India. The investment will power P&G's Project 2-3-4 that aims to double the number of Indians who use its products. P&G already has a presence in India through its listed subsidiary P&G Health & Hygiene. The subsidiary markets feminine hygiene products and Vicks. It also has a presence in the men's grooming products through its listed subsidiary, Gillette India. P&G Home Products is P&G's largest subsidiary and has an established presence in categories like laundry, hair care and skin care. P&G's investments in its subsidiaries are with an intent to reduce the gap with its biggest rival, Hindustan Unilever (HUL).
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Cadila and Cipla in the red while Dr Reddy's Lab and Piramal Healthcare trading in the green. Ranbaxy and Pfizer have planned an alliance with the FMCG major ITC to sell their over-the-counter (OTC) products in the rural market. Ranbaxy has products like Volini, in pain segment and Pfizer has Becosule, a multivitamin tablet which may no longer be available to the urban areas. The details of the development have not been disclosed by the companies. It is also not clear whether the OTC products would be available only with chemists or with grocery and kirana stores as well. It is reported by a leading newspaper that a pilot project is also being carried out in Uttar Pradesh.