Indian equity markets surged higher after slipping in early trades amid volatility in the market. The markets finally closed flat for the day. Investors were riding on hopes that the partial US government shutdown would compel the Federal Reserve to refrain from tapering its stimulus programme in the near future. Metal, Realty and Auto sectors were the leading pack of gainers. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by 14 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 2 points. BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap closed on a positive note.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed in the red. European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.40 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Activity at Indian services companies shrank at the fastest pace in more than four years last month, suggesting the slowdown in India still has some way to run. The HSBC Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), slipped from 47.6 in August to 44.6 in September, its weakest since April 2009. That marked its straight third reading below 50, the threshold between growth and contraction. It showed firms were less optimistic about the future and were cutting staff as new business dries up. The PMI's new business index fell to 45.0 in September from 46.6 in August, the weakest reading since February 2009 and the third month running that demand has declined.
According to a leading financial daily, Sun Pharmaceutical's subsidiary and Intrexon have formed a joint venture to develop controllable gene-based therapies for treatment of ocular diseases that cause partial or total blindness. The joint venture will leverage Sun Pharma's global capabilities and experience in developing and manufacturing complex dosage forms and specialty pharmaceuticals for niche therapy areas. Initial target for the JV will be to develop drugs for dry age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa. In addition to the initial targets, the companies intend to further expand the future pipeline of targeted ocular diseases. Given the rising competition in the global pharma markets, Indian players have been increasingly focusing on niche and difficult to manufacture products to sustain revenues and profits in the longer term.