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Auto stocks lead markets higher
Wed, 22 Sep 09:30 am

The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark and have stayed firmly in the positive territory. Other key Asian markets are in the green with Hong Kong (up 0.9%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets ended higher by 0.1% yesterday.

Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with auto majors attracting investors' interest. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 70 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 15 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.5 to the US dollar.

Energy stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Castrol and Indraprastha Gas. As per a leading business daily, ONGC has placed a bid for Russia's giant Arctic Trebs and Titov oil deposits. They hold an estimated 200 m tonnes of oil reserves and will be sold at a government auction in December. ONGC is the only foreign oil company to bid for the fields. However, as the deposits are classified as strategic it is unlikely that ONGC will be able to participate alone. It is likely that Rosneft, Russia's largest oil producer, would be roped in. It may be noted that in March this year, the Russian government said it would consider allowing ONGC bid for the fields. This would help Russia's goal of doubling trade with India to US$ 20 bn by 2015.

Pharma stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Sun Pharma and Cipla. As per a leading business daily, Ranbaxy has received approval from the US health regulator to sell generic Alzheimer's disease drug donepezil hydrochloride in the US market with 180 days of the expiry of exclusive marketing rights. The rights currently rest with Eisai Co's Aricept and will expire in November this year. It may be noted that it part of Ranbaxy's strategy to capitalize on drugs which lose patent in the US markets. As per estimates, drugs worth around US$ 70 bn are expected to lose patent protection between CY09 and CY12 in the US.

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