Asian markets opened on a mixed note. While Hong Kong and Singapore are trading in the green, selling pressure is being witnessed in Shanghai, Japan and Taiwan. It appears that the investors are being cautious ahead of the widely anticipated meeting of the Federal Reserve in US. The Federal Reserve is expected to announce its plans for QE II. Indian markets have opened on a weak note. Currently, stocks from realty and metals sectors are the biggest losers.
The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 27 points (-0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 77 points (1.3%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the positive with the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices trading higher by around 0.2% each. The rupee is trading at 44.43 to the US dollar.
As per data released by the government, India's exports have grown by 23% annually. The imports during the same period have risen by 26%. This has helped narrow the trade deficit to US$ 9.12 bn, which is the lowest in the past six months.
Pharma stocks have started the day with a mixed response. Aurobindo Pharma and Lupin are leading the gainers, while GSK Pharma and Dr. Reddy's are trading in the red. Drug major Lupin Ltd. announced its 2QFY11 results. Its net sales rose by 26% YoY. The growth in sales was driven by a strong performance from US and Japan. It was also driven by a strong performance in the domestic and the emerging markets. The company's net profits have increased by 34% YoY during the quarter. The company received FDA approval for two of its drugs during the quarter. It has also filed two abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA) during this period. According to IMS, Lupin was the fifth largest player in generics in US in terms of prescriptions.
Mixed response is also being seen in the hotel stocks. Hotel Leelaventures and Indian hotels have opened in the green while Taj GVK and EIH Ltd. are trading in the red. Taj GVK announced its 2QFY11 results. The company's net sales increased by 11% YoY during the quarter. However, higher cost of goods sold, staff costs as well as other expenditure dragged the operating margins, which declined by 3% YoY. The decline in operating margins was offset by lower interest and depreciation expenses resulting in net income growth of 6% YoY during the quarter. Hotel business is typically seasonal in nature with the second half of the year usually being better than the first half. Taj GVK's occupancy rate during the second quarter have increased to nearly 65%. The average room rates (ARR) also increased during the quarter.