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Sensex Trades Strong; Auto Stocks Top Gainers
Tue, 3 Oct 01:30 pm | Prasheel Vartak, TM Team

After opening the day in green, Share markets in India have continued the momentum and are presently trading above the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note, with stocks in the consumer durables sector and stocks in the auto sector witnessing maximum buying interest.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 275 points (up 0.9%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 80 points (up 0.8%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 1%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.8%. The rupee is trading at 65.51 to the US$.

In news from the manufacturing sector. Indian manufacturing activity continued to see a modest uptick in the manufacturing sector in September. The sector showed signs of rebounding after it had contracted in July following the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

According to the Nikkei Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) survey by Markit, India's manufacturing continued to revive in September after growing marginally in August The PMI had contracted sharply in July. Introduction of the GST weighed heavily on the Indian manufacturing industry in July.

The PMI is the reading of the country's manufacturing sector output and is updated monthly. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while any score below the mark denotes contraction.

PMI in September stood at 51.2, unchanged from the reading in August, continuing the growth track. Notably, the reversal of trend is after the PMI reading in July was its lowest point since February 2009, indicating the first deterioration in manufacturing and business conditions in 2017.

Manufacturing Activity Continues Expansion in September

Manufacturing sector expansion came a day after government data showed manufacturing growth in the first quarter of the current financial year fell to 1.2% from 10.7% a year ago, bogged down by the lingering effects of demonetisation and GST rollout and making India's GDP growth slump unexpectedly to a three-year low of 5.7%.

September PMI data painted an encouraging picture as the sector continued to recover from the disruptions caused by the introduction of the GST in July.

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On the prices front, the survey said that though cost pressure intensified during September, inflation remained weaker than the long-run trend. Strengthening of the Indian rupee may put a squeeze on efforts to revive demand for Indian goods from export markets.

Though Indian manufacturers remained cheerful about growth prospects, worries about the possibility of unexpected policy decisions and intensifying cost position weighed on confidence. Going forward, manufacturing activity is set to grow as manufacturers begin production for the festive season.

The data comes as the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) Monetary Policy Committee will begin discussions on the bi-monthly policy review later today. An announcement on rates will be made on Wednesday.

Moving on to news from stocks in the pharma sector. Dr Reddy's share price is in focus today.

Dr Reddy's announced that it that it has launched Sevelamer Carbonate tablets in the US markets. After receiving approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) .

Sevelamer Carbonate tablets are a generic equivalent of Renvela tablets. Citing IMSE Health sales data for the 12 months to July 2017, the company said Renvela tablets achieved annual sales of US$ 1.8 billion.

At the time of writing, Dr Reddy's share price was trading up by 2%.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry has come under a lot of regulatory pressure in the past few years.

The sector has faced great volatility over the years.

We had written about the current predicament of Indian pharma companies in one of the premium editions of the 5 Minute WrapUp:

  • Over the past few years, risk in the US markets has increased. The US Food and Drug Administration has become stricter on products entering US borders. Surprise inspections have increased and companies are being issued warning letters. This has impacted the business and earnings of Indian pharma players, causing major volatility for the sector.

The list of pharma sector woes is long. So, is there light at the end of the tunnel? Girish Shetty, Research Analyst thinks there is.

As per him, it doesn't make sense to paint all pharma stocks with the same brush. The leaders of the industry will certainly survive this phase. There are interesting, niche pharma stocks that are worth your attention.

Facing pricing pressures in the domestic and export markets, currency fluctuations, as well as manufacturing issues related to their plant, there is a transformation happening in the overall sector as to how business is done and will be done in the future.

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