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Weak Asia drags Indian stock markets
Thu, 28 Jul 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stock markets in China (down 0.9%), Hong Kong (down 1.1%), South Korea (down 0.8%), Japan (down 1.3%) and Indonesia (down 0.8%) are trading in the red. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note as well. Stocks in the Metals and IT space are leading the losses. However, FMCG stocks are trading in the green.

The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 130 points (0.7%) and the NSE-Nifty is down by around 45 points (0.8%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the red as well, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices down by 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.46 to the US dollar.

Pharma stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Cipla and Ranbaxy in the red. The top management of drug-maker Lupin has denied the rumors of sale of its domestic business. They added that India is a very important market and is growing fast. It is also a base for Lupin and will always remain. The founder chairman, Dr D.B. Gupta, told that the company looks to touch US$ 3 bn in the next 3 years. For reaching this mark, the company plans to expand in a organic as well as inorganic way. Lupin is also in talks with multinationals for out-licensing deals. The company already has 20 products through such alliances and another six are in the pipeline. The stock of Lupin is currently trading in the green.

Steel stocks have opened the day on a weak note with JSW Steel, SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd) and Bhushan Steel leading the losses. Three large private players have joined hands with the public sector unit SAIL for bidding the Hajigak mines in Afghanistan. The three private players are Tata Steel, SW Steel and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL). A leading daily has mentioned that NMDC and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. as the other state owned companies participating in the consortium. SAIL is expected to place bid on behalf of consortium by September 3. The Chairman of SAIL has stated that if they win the race in the bid, the Government-owned companies will have a more than 50% share in the mine, while the other would be shared with the private sector firms. The Government of Afghanistan has assured on the security issues against terrorism. The Hajigak mine contains iron ore deposits and is located in the Bamiyan province, 130 km west of Kabul. It is estimated to hold 1.8 bn tonnes of reserves. Along with SAIL, 15 other Indian firms had been shortlisted by the Afghan Government to bid for the iron ore reserves.

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