Most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in China (up 2.2%), South Korea (up 0.9%) and Malaysia (up 0.7%) are leading the pack of gainers. However, the markets in Indonesia (down 0.5%) and Hong Kong (down 0.2) are trading weak. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Capital goods and banking stocks are leading the gains. However, energy and auto stocks are trading weak.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 72 points (0.4%), the NSE-Nifty is up by around 22 points (0.4%). The midcap and smallcap stocks are in the positive as well with both the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by 0.7% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at 47.88 to the US dollar.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Ambuja Cements, Birla Corporation, Shree Cement and UltraTech Cement trading in the green. However, Mangalam Cement, Heidelberg Cement and India Cements are facing selling pressure. A report submitted by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), the nodal investigation wing of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, has blamed the leading cement players for abuse of market dominance and cartelization. As per the report, cement players like UltraTech Cement, Ambuja Cements and Associated Cement Companies (ACC) have been colluding to keep the price within a band. The Competition Commission of India is set to commence proceedings against these top cement companies and if found guilty, may impose penalty on them. As per ministry sources, due to such restrictive practices by the companies, about prices being charged were higher by almost 30%, which was in turn hurting the consumers.
Pharma Stocks have opened the day in the green with Lupin and Ranbaxy Lab leading the gains. Mumbai-based pharma major Lupin announced that its US based subsidiary Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LPI) has been awarded a final approval by US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market a generic version of NOR-QD. NOR-QD is a patented drug of Watson Pharma used for prevention of pregnancy. Lupin will start shipping its norethindrone tablets 0.35 mg within a short time. The total annual sales for NOR-QD and its generic equivalents was approximately US$ 52 m for the trailing 12 months period. The company said that the ANDA (Abbreviated New Drug Application) approval from the U.S. FDA marks Lupin's foray into the U.S. Oral Contraceptive market. Lupin is similarly expecting a couple of other approvals in the year ahead.