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Indian stock markets open firm
Fri, 12 Aug 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in Hong Kong (up 1.6%), South Korea (up 1%), Japan (up 0.2%), China (up 0.6%) and Indonesia (up 1.4%) are trading in the green. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note as well. Stocks in the Realty and Consumer Durables space are leading the gains.

The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 60 points (0.4%) and the NSE-Nifty is up by around 19 points (0.4%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the green as well, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices up by 1% and 0.9% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.30 to the US dollar.

Pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Pfizer and GSK Pharma in the red while Merck in the green. The final hearings for the landmark Novartis case have commenced at the Supreme Court. The case is regarding Novartis' blood cancer drug Glivec for which the company was denied the patent. This would be a landmark judgment as it would have huge implications on the interpretation and implementation of the new Indian Patents Acts. The final hearing would last through the next few days according to the lawyers familiar with the case. Novartis said to the court that Glivec is entitled to a patent in India due to the novelty of the drug which has shown better efficacy. If the patent is granted, Novartis will be able to sell the product exclusively for 20 years.

Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a mixed note as well with Cairn and Petronet in the green while Reliance Industries (RIL) in the red. Castrol India has announced its second quarter results for the calendar year 2011 (2QCY11). The company's net sales have gone up by 6% YoY to Rs 7.9 bn during the quarter. Operating profits declined by 14% YoY to about Rs 2 bn on account of adverse base oil prices and additive cost scenario. As a result, operating margins dropped from 30.2% in 2QCY10 to 24.8% in 2QCY11. At the bottomline level, profits declined by 5% YoY to Rs 1.4 bn. Net profit margin declined to 18% during the quarter against 20.2% in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year. The company's board has declared an interim dividend of Rs 7 per share for the year ending December, 2011.

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