Most major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with Japan (up 1.2%), Hong Kong (up 0.8%) and South Korea (up 0.8%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the auto and realty space are leading the gains. However, oil & gas stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 20 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 7 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 61.20 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Ranbaxy Laboratories and Biocon Ltd leading the pack of gainers. However, Lupin Ltd and Sun Pharma are trading weak. Cadila Heathcare has announced its first quarter results for the financial year 2013-14 (1QFY14). During the quarter, the pharma firm reported net sales of Rs 16,075 m, higher by 6% year-on-year (YoY). Operating profits declined by 20% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 2,858 m as operating margins contracted from 22.4% in 1QFY13 to 17.5% in 1QFY14. At the bottomline level, net profits increased marginally by 0.4% YoY to Rs 1,956 m. Net profit margins declined from 12.2% in 1QFY13 to 11.9% in 1QFY14.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Eicher Motor, Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors leading the gains. After the 25 year-long partnership between the Honda Group and Honda Motors ended, the country's largest two-wheeler maker in volume terms Hero MotoCorp has been continuously losing market share. Now, in order to retain its 50% market share in the Indian bike and scooter market, the company is planning to introduce several indigenously developed products. It must be noted that the company's market share for the financial year ended March 2013 dropped down to 42.85% in the 13.97 lakh units Indian two-wheeler market. Until 2009, the company used to enjoy a share of about 49%. The main reason for the fall in market share has been the growing dominance of its erstwhile joint venture partner Honda Motors which is growing at a brisk pace in the Indian market.