The Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Hong Kong (up 0.3%) and Japan (up 0.6%) leading the gains in the region. However, stock markets in China have opened on a weak note (down 0.1%). The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a positive note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the software and pharma leading the pack of gainers while power and Oil and gas sector have opened weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 39 points (0.2%) and the NSE-Nifty is up by around 1.0 point (0.0%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.34 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a strong note with Tayo Rolls and JSW Steel leading the pack of gainers. As per a leading financial daily, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) led consortium of leading Indian steel and mining firms plan to invest US$75 m. This is towards the first phase for the development of Hajigak Iron Ore mines in Afghanistan. The company has a maximum 20% stake in the venture. Apart from SAIL, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. (RINL) hold 18% each in the venture. The consortium had won the mining rights for three iron ore mines in November last year through an international bidding. The three blocks are said to contain 1.28 bn tones of rich reserves. As per the company management, the first phase will be prospecting of the iron ore mines and would take about two and half years time to complete. The Indian consortium is now looking to sign the final agreements to move ahead with the project development. Besides developing iron ore mines, the project development plan includes setting up of a 6 million tonnes per annum steel plant, an 800 MW power plant and building necessary infrastructure at a total cost of US$10.8 bn.
Pharma stocks have opened the day mainly in green led by Indoco Remedies and IPCA Labs.As per a leading financial daily, Cipla Ltd. is will start the supplying Dymista formulation to Swedish pharmaceutical company Meda AB for the US market. The company has a manufacturing contract with Meda, which has discovered and developed the drug. Meda is planning to launch it in the US in a few months. As a result of this, the company is likely to witness a revenue gain in the second half of this financial year. The drug which is a combination inhaler for the treatment of allergic rhinitis is targeted at 60 million patients in the US. According to Meda's 2011 annual report, the US and European Union markets for Dymista are expected to be around US$6 bn. As per the market sources, apart from sales formula, Cipla is also entitled for an upfront milestone payment of US$15 million from Meda. It was in 2009 that the company had signed a long-term collaboration agreement with Meda to develop and market Dymista for various global markets.