Asian markets opened on a positive note. Hong Kong and Korea are the leading gains. However, Shanghai is witnessing selling pressure. While Hong Kong and Singapore are trading in the green, selling pressure is being witnessed in Shanghai. Indian markets have opened on a positive note. Currently, stocks from FMCG and auto sectors are the main gainers.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 141 points (0.7%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 40 points (0.7%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the positive with the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices trading higher by around 0.7% each. The rupee is trading at 44.32 to the US dollar.
Pharma stocks have opened in the green. Apollo Hospitals, Dr. Reddy's and GSK Pharma are the main gainers in the sector. Aventis has announced its 3QCY10 results. The company's net sales grew by 6% YoY while its net profits increased by 8% YoY during the quarter. Growth in sales was driven by a robust 15% growth in the company's core pharmaceutical business. However, the gain was partially offset by the decline in exports. Operating margins declined marginally by 0.5% due to higher other expenditure as a percentage of sales. However, higher other income aided the growth in the bottom line.
Going forward, the company's focus on delivering high quality healthcare to rural population as well as to enter the over-the-counter (OTC) market will aid future growth.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Ambuja Cement and Grasim leading the pack of gainers. Grasim announced its 2Q FY11 results yesterday. Its consolidated revenues declined by 5% YoY during the quarter. While volumes increased by 5%, realizations declined by nearly 18% on the back of subdued demand on account of monsoons as well as oversupply in the sector. Operating margins declined to 16% as against 32% seen during the same period last year. This was on account of higher raw material and power costs. Its net income declined by 59% during the year. The cement sector has witnessed a subdued quarter mainly on account of heavier monsoons. The sector has also been impacted negatively by the excess supply. Going forward Grasim expects cement demand to grow by nearly 10% annually for the next five years. It also expects margins to improve to historic levels by FY13.