After a strong start in the morning, Indian indices pared some gains as the day progressed as investors chose to book profits at higher levels. While the afternoon session saw the indices trading within a range, buying activity picked up in the final trading hour and led the indices to close well above the dotted line. While the BSE Sensex closed higher by around 89 points (up 0.4%), the NSE Nifty gained around 32 points (up 0.5%). The BSE Midcap and the BSE Smallcap also notched gains of around 1% each. Gains were largely seen in metals, auto and oil & gas stocks, while FMCG and IT stocks were at the receiving end.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 44.38 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Cement stocks closed mixed today. While Ultratech and Ambuja Cement closed firm, ACC and Madras Cement closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, cement major Ambuja Cement has signed an agreement with the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation to set up a 2.2 million tonne (MT) cement plant in Nagaur district. This would involve a capital outlay of Rs 22 bn. While land has been acquired for the same, other details with respect to financial closure are yet to be worked out. It must be noted that with the various investments made in augmenting capacity, the company increased its cement production by 7.5% to 15.1 MT between January and September this year. Thus, sales grew 7.4% to 15.13 MT in the same period due to good demand in the western and southern regions.
Moreover as far as the Indian cement industry is concerned, production capacity is expected to increase from 266 MT to 280 MT by the end of this fiscal. As against this, the expectations of demand for cement stand at 210 MT. Thus, there would be a supply overhang as a result of which cement realisations are likely to take a beating. However, this is likely to be reversed if the industry witnesses a considerable pick up in rural demand.
Pharma stocks closed mixed today. While Ranbaxy, Cipla and Glenmark found favour, Biocon and GSK Pharma closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, pharma major Glenmark has been granted final approval by the US FDA to market ‘Pramipexole Dihydrochloride’ tablets in the US. This is the generic version of Boehringer Ingelheim’s ‘Mirapex’ tablets and is indicated for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Glenmark has already begun marketing all 5 strengths of the drug. It must be noted that ‘Mirapex’ generated revenues to the tune of US$ 520 m for the 12 month period ending June 2010 as per data by IMS Health. Currently, the US accounts for 29% of Glenmark’s overall revenues. This is a positive for the company and will enhance its revenues from the highly competitive US generics market.