Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a weak note and languished in the red throughout today's session as selling activity persisted across index heavyweights. There was no respite in the final trading hour either and indices closed well below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex today closed lower by 84 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 25 points. While the BSE Mid Cap closed weak, the BSE Small Cap bucked the trend and gained marginally. Losses were largely seen in metals and oil & gas stocks.
As regards global markets, most Asian indices closed weak today while European indices have opened mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.31 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Pharma stocks closed mixed today. While Lupin and Ranbaxy closed firm, Biocon and Wockhardt led the pack of losers. As per a leading business daily, Lupin has received US FDA approval to market generic version of ViiV Healthcare's Trizivir tablets in the US market. This drug is indicated for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. Because the company was the first-to-file (FTF) for this product, it will be entitled to 180 days market exclusivity. According to IMS MAT September 2013 sales data, Trizivir tablets has US sales of around US$ 111.6 m. This is a positive for the company and will enhance its sales from the highly competitive US generics market. Because of the exclusivity period, the revenue and profit potential will be higher because it will be the only player in the market besides the innovator. Lupin has been doing well in the US, which can be gauged by the fact that it is the market leader in 26 products out of the 57 that have been launched in this market.
Auto stocks also closed mixed today. While Ashok Leyland and Bajaj Auto found favour, Tata Motors and Hero Motocorp closed into the red. There was no respite for the Indian auto industry in the month of November 2013 as volumes across most segments saw a decline. While passenger cars were down 8% YoY during the month, the fall in commercial vehicles (CV) volumes was even steeper at 29% YoY. Utility vehicles, which were the star performers in FY13, also saw volumes fall by 9% YoY. Slowdown in the economy coupled with firm interest rates and fuel prices have taken its toll on demand. Much hope was pinned on the festive season, which failed to live upto expectations. The outlook for the rest of FY14 remains tepid. However, there are hopes that if the economy displays signs of recovery in FY15, this should rub off positively on the beleaguered auto industry as well.