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Markets end flat
Fri, 12 Sep Closing

After a volatile day, the Indian equity markets remained range-bound and ended marginally higher. Ahead of the release of industrial output data for July and CPI for August, the markets traded in caution throughout the day and closed on a flat note. While, BSE-Sensex closed marginally higher by 65 points, the NSE-Nifty too was seen up by 20 points. That said, both the BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices gathered steam and were up by 0.2% and 0.5% respectively. While healthcare stocks observed buying interest, stocks from power space witnessed maximum selling pressures.

On the global front, the Asian indices closed the day on a mixed note. The European indices too have opened mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.77 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Pharma stocks have closed the day on a mixed note. While Cipla and Aurobindo Pharma have led the pack of gainers, Orchid Chemicals, Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy Laboratories have led the pack of laggards.

One set of news states that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a surprise inspection of the Sun Pharma's manufacturing plant at Halol in Gujarat. This plant happens to be one of the major facilities of Sun Pharma supplying to the US market. And this was inspected last in September 2012. This plant contributes to around 40% of US sales and around 25% of consolidated profit of the company. It is said that the inspection of this Sun Pharma plant; which contributes to the larger share of the company's US revenues as well as to the overall performance, would be of immense importance.

Sun Pharma, in April 2014, had announced the acquisition of Ranbaxy Laboratories for USD 4 bn. Ranbaxy shareholders are entitled to get four shares of Sun Pharma for every five shares held by them. But with the aforesaid news of the surprise US FDA's inspection, the shares of both Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy laboratories plunged for during the day.

Barring few such as Mah. Scooters, TVS Motors, Ashok Leyland and Bajaj Auto, the rest of the Auto stocks have closed the day on a firm note. Stocks of Force Motors and Eicher Motor have led the pack of gainers.

In another set of news, a leading daily states that the country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India has planned to roll out its light commercial vehicle (LCV) project on a limited scale. The company executive further mentioned that they need to understand the market and sales further. Moreover, commercial vehicle is all-together a new space for the company. A month ago, the company Chairman had mentioned about the launch of one ton LCV, which is in the same segment as Tata Ace and Mahindra Gio and Ashok Leyland's Dost by next year. The company now is in the process of setting up a separate sales and distribution network for LCV as cars and LCVs cannot be sold from the same outlets.

The company is quite positive over the prospects of the new reformist government that should bode well for the economic uptick and the auto industry as a whole. Moreover, with the onset of the festive season, sales are expected to remain buoyant going forward.

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Mar 16, 2018 (Close)