Indian stock markets continued its southward journey below the dotted line during the previous two hours of trade led by heavy selling activity across sectors. Selling pressure is led by stocks from realty and power sectors, whereas healthcare and FMCG stocks are trading firm.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down 207 points and the NSE-Nifty is trading down 67 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading down 1.8% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading down 2.4% today. The rupee is trading at 60.14 to the US dollar.
Food & tobacco stocks are trading on a mixed note today. While GSK Consumers is leading the pack of a few gainers, Tata Global Beverages and Ruchi Soya are trading weak. As per a leading business daily, FMCG major ITC plans to lay greater emphasis in supplying its FMCG products directly to retailers in a move to revitalize its distribution strategy. As such, the company targets to reach out to 1 lakh villages that accounts for 80% of India's rural consumer goods consumption. This will enable ITC to directly reach out to retailers bypassing wholesalers and stockists. The company's rural push matches the scale of market leader HUL, which launched an initiative of Perfect Village last year and covered 8,500 villages. It may be noted that ITC has been focusing on the consumer good segment in line with the company chairman's vision to turm the company in to the nation's largest FMCG company. As such, its FMCG business broke even during FY14. ITC is trading higher by 0.2%
Majority of the domestic pharma stocks are trading in the green led by Sun Pharma and J B Chemicals whereas Panacea Biotech and Piramal Enterprises are among major losers. As per a leading financial daily, Ranbaxy Laboratories has signed a licensing agreement with Cipher Pharmaceuticals for exclusive marketing, selling and distributing the latter's isotretinoin capsules in Brazil. Ranbaxy is already distributing Cipher's isotretinoin product in United States under the brand Absorica. Isotretinoin is used in the treatment of severe recalcitrant nodular acne. Ranbaxy will be responsible for obtaining regulatory approval for the product in Brazil which will be promoted through a brand dermatology division. As per the terms of the agreement, Cipher will receive an upfront payment as well as pre-commercial milestone payments. Ranbaxy stock is currently trading up by 2.4%.