The Indian markets opened above the breakeven mark, and have not shown any signs of a negative movement since then in line with the positive cues from the Asian markets. Asia is currently trading in the green with Japan (up 1.7%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed 0.3% higher yesterday.
Currently, in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading in the green with auto and metal stocks leading the pack of gainers amidst broad based buying activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by 133 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by 31 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small-cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.8% and 1.0% each. The rupee is trading at 46.45 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed note. Gainers here include Essar Oil and Cairn India, while GAIL and BPCL are in the red. As per a leading business daily, Reliance Industries (RIL) has become the largest natural gas producer in India. The company's KG basin gas fields now have an output of 50 m standard cubic meters of gas per day (mmscmd), more than state run ONGC's 49.6 mmscmd. RIL is aiming at an output of 60 mmscmd by the end of December and 65 mmscmd in January. It expects peak output of over 80 mmscmd in the second half of 2010. It may be noted that ONGC's gas production primarily comes from its Bassein and Mumbai High fields, which produce about 42 mmscmd. In our view, the Indian natural gas space looks promising given the possibility of further discoveries and existing demand. On its part, the government must enforce transparent regulations so that the required investment flows into the sector.
Pharma stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Panacea Biotec and Cadila Healthcare. As per a leading business daily, Glenmark Pharma plans to outlicense at least one of its new chemical entities (NCEs) under development this fiscal. A major candidate would be the diabetic drug ‘Melogliptin’, which was earlier returned by Merck as part of its strategy to exit from diabetes research. It is now in the advanced phase II of clinical trials. Glenmark has six molecules under development currently. We believe that Glenmark's R&D pipeline will be a key growth driver going forward. The company has been following the strategy of out-licensing its molecules to global companies in return for milestone payments depending upon the progress of the molecule. It may be noted that Indian Pharma majors such as Dr Reddy's, Glenmark, Lupin and Piramal Healthcare are working on 50 to 70 drug candidates to become the first Indian company to come out with an original molecule in the commercial stage before FY11.