Replicating the buoyancy displayed in the first three trading sessions of the week, the Indian indices ended today's session on a strong note as well. While the BSE Sensex closed higher by around 177 points (up 1%), the NSE Nifty gained around 56 points (up 1%). The BSE Midcap and the BSE Smallcap indices also did well as they notched gains of 1% each. Gains were largely seen in healthcare, consumer durables and oil & gas stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 45.83 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Power stocks closed mixed today. While PTC India and Tata Power found favour, NTPC closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, Coal India Limited (CIL) has fallen short of its target of supplying coal to its customers. The company had initially set a target to increase its supplies to major consumer sectors by 15% to 152 million tonnes (MT) during April-July 2010, as against 131 MT supplied during the corresponding period in the last fiscal. However, the supplies increased by a mere 2.4% to 134.5 MT during the period. Not surprisingly, its biggest consumer, the power sector (consuming 70% of the coal produced by CIL) is the one facing the major brunt. The reasons cited for this lukewarm growth have been logistics issues, non-availability of wagons and CIL's failure to arrange road transportation from the mines to the nearest railheads. Little wonder then that Indian power companies such as Tata Power and NTPC are scouting for coal assets overseas so that they do not have to depend on CIL for their supplies.
Pharma stocks closed strong today and the key gainers here included Lupin, Ranbaxy and Biocon. Lupin closed higher by 7% today and the stock price has more than tripled since the rally began in March 2009. The company performed strongly in 1QFY11 wherein sales and profits grew by 21% YoY and 40% YoY respectively. Operating margins also improved. The US has been a key growth driver and the company's focus on branded generics in that market has given it an edge over other domestic pharma players. Going forward, the US will play an instrumental role in driving growth. Not just that, performance will also be led by the other geographies that the company has ventured into, namely Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
As per a leading business daily, India's GDP grew 8.8% in the April-June quarter this year as compared to the 6% growth recorded in the corresponding period last year. This means that the Indian economy has expanded at the fastest pace in 10 quarters. While agriculture grew by 2.8%, the industry and services sectors registered growth of 10.3% and 9.6% respectively. These strong growth numbers have led the government to forecast higher growth for the fiscal. Having said that, agriculture will have to report a sustainable 4% growth inorder for India to maintain high growth rates. It must be noted that the government has currently pegged India's GDP growth for the fiscal at 8.5%.