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Sensex, Nifty Close at Record Highs; Healthcare and Power Stocks Witness Buying
Tue, 21 Aug Closing | Monish Vora, TM Team

Indian share markets continued to trade on a flat during closing hours of trade and ended the day marginally higher to close at fresh record high levels. Gains were largely seen in the healthcare sector and power sector.

Both, the Sensex and Nifty, ended their day at record closing highs. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 7 points (up 0.02%) and the NSE Nifty closed higher by 19 points (up 0.17%). The BSE Mid Cap index ended the day up by 0.5%, while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day up by 0.3%.

Asian stock markets finished on a positive note as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng stood up by 0.56% and the Nikkei was trading up by 0.09%. The Shanghai Composite stood higher by 1.29%.

European markets were trading on a mixed note. The FTSE 100 was down by 0.23%. The DAX was up by 0.63% while the CAC 40 was up by 0.75%.

The rupee was trading at 69.85 to the US$ at the time of writing.

In the news from pharma space, Lupin share price was in focus today as the company said it has received final approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market Hydrocortisone Butyrate lotion.

Hydrocortisone Butyrate Lotion is the generic version of PreCision's Locoid Lotion, 0.1%. It is a corticosteroid indicated for the topical treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in patients 3 months of age and older.

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As per the data, the lotion had annual sales of approximately US$ 13.8 million in the US.

Owing to the above news, Lupin share price witnessed buying interest and ended the day up by 2.2% on the BSE.

Speaking of drug approvals, Indian pharma companies catering to the US markets are breathing a sigh of relief. After being adversely affected by import bans and the suspension of new drug approvals from manufacturing facilities in the past three years, there has been a sharp pick-up in new drug approvals in FY17.

Generic Drug Approvals Hit the Roof

Even the total filings of abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for generic drugs rose to 1,292 in FY17 from 852 in FY16. While faster approvals expedite the commercialization of product pipelines of domestic pharma companies spurring growth, at the same time, however, it has raised the intensity of competition resulting in pricing pressures. The price erosion has been further compounded by a consolidation among US distributors and the decline in the number of products going off-patent over the past few years.

In other words, acceleration in generic drug approvals is like a double-edged sword. The growth boost can be quickly offset by the ensuing pricing pressures. Pharma companies that invest in creating a pipeline of complex generics or building competencies in alternative dosage forms are better equipped to tackle the changing dynamics in the US generics market.

Therefore, despite a lot of pessimism surrounding pharma stocks on regulatory uncertainty, we have stocks in open positions in our premium safe stocks recommendation service StockSelect and have also remained bullish on pharma stocks in our long term service, ValuePro.

Moving on, airline stocks were also witnessing buying interest today. Gains were seen as official data showed that domestic passenger traffic grew 21% in July on a year-on-year (YoY) basis.

As per the data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), domestic airlines carried 11.6 million passengers in July this year.

The country's largest domestic airline, IndiGo increased its monthly passenger count by 31.7% YoY to 4.86 million. Jet Airways reported 0.5% YoY growth with 1.74 million tourists booking its flights. National carrier Air India recorded a 10.7% YoY growth in air traffic, carrying 1.43 million passengers, while SpiceJet carried 1.42 million passengers in July, up 5% YoY.

For GoAir, domestic passenger traffic grew by 38.4% YoY to 1.02 million and the same for AirAsia and Vistara was 0.55 million and 0.45 million passengers, respectively, up by 62% and 29% YoY.

Note that India's aviation industry is on a high-growth trajectory. India's domestic air traffic has seen a prolific growth of 20-25% during 2015 and 2016. And in 2017, it tapered to 17.4%. However, for the first time, domestic air traffic crossed an important landmark of 100 million passengers in a calendar year.

Air travel has recorded double-digit growth for 40 consecutive months, thanks to low fares, the addition of new flights/destinations, and overall growth in the economy.

What's foreseeable for India's aviation traffic in 2018 is some pressure on the back of the consistent rise in crude oil prices.

Oil prices are closely monitored by the Indian air carriers, as aviation turbine fuel is their single largest input cost. A sharp rise in the cost of fuel puts pressure on margins, and consequently an increase in air fares.

Although air travel is becoming the new normal, investors need to understand the industry dynamics before buying up aviation stocks.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

Now you can also listen to our stock market podcast. In the latest edition of our podcast, we have talked about the falling rupee, trade deficit, and the how Turkish crisis can affect your portfolio of stocks. Just visit SoundCloud, iTunes or Stitcher and access our free weekly podcast. Happy listening!

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Stock Market Updates

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JK LAKSHMI CEMENT Share Price Up by 11%; BSE 500 Index Up 1.0% (Today's Market)

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