The Indian markets witnessed a volatile session today. After trading well above the dotted line for most part of the morning session, profit booking at higher levels took toll during the latter half of the day. Subsequent attempts by the indices to move into positive territory proved futile as they closed into the red. While the BSE Sensex closed lower by around 70 points (down 0.4%), the NSE Nifty closed lower by around 17 points (down 0.3%). Selling activity was also witnessed among midcap and smallcap stocks as the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices closed lower by around 1% each. While banking FMCG and healthcare stocks weighed heavy on the indices, auto and capital goods stocks managed to find favour.
The Asian indices closed mixed today, while the European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 46.57 to the dollar at the time of writing.
MNC pharma stocks closed mixed. While Aventis found favour, Novartis and Pfizer closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, MNC pharma major Aventis India has launched a rural market division in a bid to tap the faster growing rural markets. The company has launched 10 products with a sales team of 300 people and aims to corner a bigger pie of this market going forward. It must be noted that Aventis is a very strong player in the chronic therapy segment with focus on the therapeutic areas of diabetes, CNS and cardiology. Further, the company was largely focused on metros and Tier 1 cities where these diseases are highly prevalent. Now that the company is looking to focus on the rural markets as well, the products catering to these regions will be from the therapeutic areas of respiratory, gastrointestinal and nutrition.
Further, the company is expecting to get around 2% share of the rural market in the next five years. We believe this move is a positive one taken by the company not only in terms of augmenting its revenues but also in terms of making medicines accessible to the rural hinterland.
As per a leading business daily, REpower UK, a wholly-owned arm of REpower Systems of Germany controlled by Suzlon, has bagged a Rs 1.9 bn contract from EON Climate and Renewables for supplying 15 turbines. This is the third order won by Suzlon Group in the last fortnight. The wind farms are located at Butterwick Moor and Haswell Moor in County Durham in the UK. Both these sites will produce 30.75 MW of wind power and will be fully operational by the end of 2010. This development will enable REpower reach 500 MW of installed capacity in the UK. The stock of Suzlon closed in the red.
The industrial production data for the month of October is out and the growth at 10.3% has been helped by stimulus measures and robust domestic demand. This then raises the question of how long the RBI will wait before raising interest rates. As reported on Bloomberg, the Deputy Governor Usha Thorat had said that India’s exit from a loose monetary policy will be difficult as the economy’s expansion remains dependent on government stimulus. Having said that, if the government considers postponing its policy of raising interest rates, it may happen at the cost of fanning inflation. Food prices in India in the week ended November 28 have soared due to weak monsoons and its adverse impact on agricultural production and it seems likely that the government might look to tighten interest rates in FY11.