In what was yet another painful session for the Indian stock market, the indices opened near the dotted line today and went deeper into the negative as the day progressed. Selling pressure in IT, engineering, commodity and banking
stocks ensured that the indices close well below the breakeven. Reports of the Planning Commission targeting GDP growth in excess of 8% for the 12th Plan period failed to enthuse investors. While the BSE-Sensex
closed lower by around 328 points (down 2%), the NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 99 points (down 2%). The BSE-Midcap and BSE-Small cap were not spared either and lost 1% and 2% respectively.
As regards global markets, major indices across Asia closed lower today. The European indices have also opened in the red. The rupee was trading at Rs 45.95 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The BSE Sensex has shed more than 5% this week, backed by weak global macro-economic scenario, concerns over lower GDP growth and political uncertainties. The biggest losers over the week have been from the realty, commodity, power and banking space. While stocks like DLF (shed 10% during the week) have borne the brunt of regulatory penalty, banks like ICICI Bank and SBI have been out of investor favour due to speculations over lower profits and higher NPAs over the next few quarters. Tata Motors (down 14%) was the biggest loser of the week amongst Sensex stocks due to lower sale volumes and lingering pressure of high interest rates. IT behemoths Infosys and Wipro were also not spared as they lost nearly 8% each due to fears of US recession impacting their businesses.
Pharma major Ranbaxy Laboratories may part away with its rights to make a generic version of Pfizer Inc's blockbuster drug Lipitor, if it fails to win timely US approval for the cholesterol pill. It may be noted that a legal settlement with Pfizer had given Ranbaxy six months' exclusivity to market generic Lipitor in the US. However, delays in Food and Drug Administration approval may prevent the Indian company from selling its generic version. Further, as per newspaper reports, a dispute settlement with the US FDA may cost Ranbaxy more than US$ 1 bn. Ranbaxy was hoping to capitalise on FTF (first to file) opportunities for products Flomax, Lipitor and Nexium, for which it entered into out-of-court settlements. That said, with respect to these launches, an element of uncertainty cannot be discounted given its pending problems with the US regulator.