Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a cautious note. While the morning session saw the indices notch gains and inch upwards, most of these gains were pared in the afternoon session as selling pressure intensified. Thereafter, the indices oscillated to either side of yesterday's close. The final trading hour saw the indices close barely into the positive. While the Sensex today closed higher by 21 points, the NSE-Nifty today closed higher by 4 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were at the receiving end as they closed lower by 0.2% each. Gains were largely seen in FMCG and Oil and gas stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while most European indices have opened in the red. The rupee was trading at Rs 55.43 to the dollar at the time of writing.
As per a leading business daily, Lupin has lost its litigation against global pharma major Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for the latter's oral contraceptive drug Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. A US court found J&J's patent for the drug valid. This means that Lupin will not be able to launch this drug before 2016. Interestingly, other generic companies that had settled with J&J may launch the drug in December 2015. This drug has annual revenues of US$ 450 m and Lupin had already received final approval for the same from the USFDA in July 2012 for multiple strengths. Given that competition has intensified in the global generics market, generic companies are increasingly looking to challenge patents to get the 180 day exclusivity or launch niche products. Further, companies are also settling patent suits with the innovators with the aim of bringing some visibility on the revenue front. The stock closed lower today.
Auto stocks closed mixed today, While TVS Motors and Hero Motocorp found favour, Maruti Suzuki closed into the red. As per a leading business daily, Maruti Suzuki has announced hiring plans for its plant at Manesar. Last year, Maruti had faced many labour troubles at this plant as a result of which its performance for FY12 was adversely impacted. The recent riots and lockout at the same plant has also hurt the company's fortunes. Maruti Suzuki intends to significantly churn its workforce at the factory. About half of the workers at the facility will now be completely fresh hires from vocational schools such as Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). Another 20% would come from other companies. The company is hiring 1,870 workers for Manesar, as it looks to ramp up production at the factory to full levels of about 1,900 cars a day by November. In all, it expects to have 3,750 workers at the plant.