Indian indices had a largely volatile trading session today as they oscillated to either side of yesterday’s close. While the morning session saw the indices trading above the dotted line, in the afternoon session the indices were pushed into the red. However, buying activity intensified in the later hours as a result of which markets closed well into the positive. While the BSE Sensex closed higher by around 80 points (up 0.4%), the NSE Nifty gained around 28 points (up 0.5%). The BSE Midcap and the BSE Smallcap also notched gains of around 0.4% and 1% respectively. Barring oil & gas stocks, gains were seen across sectors.
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.
As per a leading business daily, pharma major Glenmark has completed the Phase III trials for its molecule ‘Crofelemer’, which is a new drug to treat HIV-related diarrhea. If successfully launched this would be the country’s first new drug and would have the potential to garner sales of around US$ 80 m. It must be noted that Glenmark has partnered with Napo Pharmaceuticals and Salix Pharmaceuticals for developing and marketing this molecule. As per the terms, Glenmark has the right to launch the drug in 140 countries which excludes the US, Europe, Japan and China. The launch of the drug is likely to begin with India, which would be sometime in late 2012. It must be noted that India and South Africa alone are estimated to have 2.5 m and 9 m people living with HIV. Thus, this development comes as a huge positive for the company. The stock closed lower today after notching gains yesterday.
Software stocks are trading firm currently with the key gainers being TCS, Mahindra Satyam and Infosys. As per a leading business daily, Indian IT companies could face margin pressure going forward. Most of these companies are seeing a surge in contracts. However, the attrition rate has also risen and this will remain a big challenge for Indian IT firms. Less diversified mid-sized IT firms, with smaller bench strength, may even lose out on contracts. During the downturn, most technology firms had cut down on hiring but demand has picked up in the second quarter. Despite doling out higher wages, attrition rates for top Indian IT companies have stayed high. While TCS saw an attrition rate of 13%, Infosys and Wipro rates were higher at 17% and 19% respectively. Increased attrition also brings with it other problems such as higher recruitment and training costs, loss of business momentum because of delays in staffing and potentially poor delivery against peers in multi-vendor contracts. However, most of the top companies are not too worried about the same given that it is part of the business model and because businesses have survived in the past.