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Markets Trade Marginally Positive
Thu, 28 Jul 11:30 am

After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian stock markets have continued to trade in the green. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the consumer durables, telecom and realty sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 94 points (up 0.3%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 29 points (up 0.3%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.8%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.9%. The rupee is trading at 67.05 to the US$.

In a major global news, the US Federal Reserve left key interest rates untouched. However, it said that acknowledged improved economic performance could suggest that a rate hike may be on the horizon in 2016.

The Fed left the benchmark policy rates at 0.25%. It also maintained that the near-term risks to the economy have diminished. Policymakers also appeared to see less threat to US growth from Britain's vote to leave the European Union (EU).

It must be note that this is the fifth consecutive meeting in which the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has left the rates untouched. It last raised the interest rates by 25 basis points for the first time in a decade in December 2015.

Only time will tell whether the Fed will raise its rate in the upcoming meetings. The Fed has repeatedly said that it wants to see increasing job growth and signs of stronger inflation before it raises rates. As far as these factors are concerned, the recent statement of the FOMC cited moderate growth in employment. It also said that the inflation was expected to remain low in the near term.

The FOMC members have also acknowledged that the election has added a level of uncertainty to the US economy.

With the Fed's decision in the air, all eyes are now set on the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) meeting that is going to dictate the stimulus measures in Japan.

In a news update from the pharmaceutical space, Sun Pharmaceuticals has signed a licensing agreement with Spanish firm Almirall for development and commercialization of tildrakizumab, its lead investigational compound for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

The company has said that it will build on the success of tildrakizumab and leverage the European capabilities of its partner. In return for this, the company will receive an initial upfront payment of US$ 50 million and be eligible for development and regulatory milestone payments in addition to sales milestones and royalties.

Both the companies have agreed for certain cost sharing agreements. Also, provisions are made for possible co-promotion agreement at some point in the future, subject to certain conditions.

Sun Pharma remains confident of the commercial prospects of the drug, backed by positive data from its multi-centric global clinical studies.

Sun Pharma is India's largest drug maker. One must note that Sun Pharma was the first among its Indian peers to enter the US dermatology space. The company did so by acquiring a controlling stake in Israel's Taro Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd in 2010. The company in June launched its first dermatology product in the form of its sunscreen brand 'Suncros'.

Presently the stock of Sun Pharma is trading up 2%.

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