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Small cap stocks buck the trend
Wed, 1 Oct 11:30 am

After opening flat, Indian Indices are hovering around the dotted line during morning trading session. The sectoral indices are trading mixed with IT stocks witnessing maximum buying interest, while stocks from oil and gas and FMCG sectors are the leading losers in the pack.

The BSE-Sensex is trading down 33 points. The NSE-Nifty is trading down 12 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading down 0.02% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.14%. The rupee is trading at 61.61 to the US dollar.

Indian pharma companies and MNC pharma companies are trading mixed. Among the Indian pharma companies, Natco pharma and Divis are the leading gainers in the pack and among the MNC pharma companies Merck Ltd and Pfizer are in demand today. Sanofi Ltd and Fullford among MNC companies and Indoco remedies and Strides acrolab among Indian pharma companies are the leading losers. As per the financial daily, the high court has ordered the national pharmaceuticals pricing authorities the manner in which it is exercising its power to cap prices of non-scheduled drugs in view of the recent withdrawal of the guidelines issued for the purpose. Recently, the Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers had on September 19 ordered the NPPA to withdraw a guideline under the Drug (Prices Control) Order (DPCO) of 2013 that gave the pricing authority powers to cap prices of non-scheduled drugs. Since July, the NPPA has ordered twice and brought the drugs under various categories under price control. This move was negative for the pharma companies. The latest withdrawal of the order, had given a big relief to various pharma players especially the MNC companies. Reportedly, the NPPA has submitted before the court that only some internal guidelines were withdrawn and the same would not in any way affect the July 10 notification. The court, however, directed the authority to file an affidavit making its stand clear on the issue.

Most software stocks are trading strong today. Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are among the stocks that are leading the gainers. As per a leading financial daily, India's third largest IT firm Wipro, has embarked on a multi-year automation program. This drive is intended to control costs and improve margins. At the center of the program is to reduce the company's workforce by about one third by voluntary attrition. This means that the company is looking to reduce the strength of its workforce from about 1,46,000 to about 1,00,000 in about three years time without resorting to mass layoffs. The company plans to achieve this by automating the processes in the infrastructure monitoring and software testing divisions which currently employ about 68,000 employees. Wipro was trading up 2.7% at the time of writing.

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