Most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stock markets in Hong Kong (down 1.1%), Singapore (down 1.1%), Japan (down 1.3%) and Taiwan (down 1.5%) are leading the pack of losers. However, markets in Indonesia (up 0.2%) are trading firm. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Banking and technology stocks are leading the losses. However, stocks in the consumer durable and auto space are trading firm.
The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 58 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 20 points (0.4%). However, mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the green, with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by 0.3% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.13 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a strong note with Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki leading the gains. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has hiked prices for the entire range of products including Scorpio, Xylo and Bolero by 2%. The increase in the prices is a result of the rising raw material costs. The management has shown concerns over the rising costs. In January 2011, M&M raised the prices by 1.5% which was later followed by another similar hike in April 2011. This hike is the third in the same calendar year. On the sales front, the management said that they were cautiously optimistic. The company increased its sales by 31% YoY in domestic sales in August 2011. Similarly, in July 2011, it witnessed an increase of 42% YoY.
Pharma Stocks have open the day on a mixed note with Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy's Laboratories trading in the red. However, Aurobindo Pharma and Orchid Chemicals are trading firm. Indian pharma major Ranbaxy Laboratories has launched the first generic version of Nexium in Britain. Nexium is AstraZeneca Plc's heartburn and ulcer drug. Ranbaxy is offering 20 mg and 40 mg tablets of esomeprazole, which is the generic name for Nexium, through pharmacies, retail and wholesale stores. In Britain, the sales of Nexium aggregate to about 60 m British Pounds (US$ 97 m) a year. The entry of Ranbaxy's generic version is going to escalate pressure on European sales of the top-selling medicine.