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Banking stocks standout today
Mon, 15 Dec Closing

The Indian markets closed the day marginally on a weaker note, as buying activity picked up in the second half of the day. The BSE-Sensex closed lower by about 31 points or 0.11%, while the NSE-Nifty closed lower by about 5 points. Barring banking stocks, weakness was seen across the board, with realty and consumer durables stocks leading the pack of losers. Information technology stocks witnessed considerable selling pressure today as well. Mid and smallcaps ended the day on a weak note with their respective indices down by about 0.5% and 0.6% respectively.

Stock markets in other parts of Asia ended the day on a weak note, while sentiments in Europe seemed to be buoyant at the time of writing. The rupee was trading at Rs 62.65 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Inflation numbers for the month of November 2014 were announced a while back. And it seems to be quite encouraging. As reported in the Hindu Business Line, inflation as measured by the whole sale price index stood at zero in the month gone by. In the previous month, the figure stood at 1.77%. This is the lowest figure in about five and a half years. The key reason for this coming down has been lower prices of oil fuel, food and, manufactured items. As per the data, food inflation stood at 0.63% during the month. However, given the poor monsoons this year, the possibility of supply shortages and their impact on prices do remain high. Further, the fuel and power index declined by 5.4% - in line with the global oil price trend. It may be noted that WPI inflation stood at 7.11% at the start of the year, and has been showing a steady decline ever since. While global factors seem to be one favourable aspect, what should also be kept in mind is that the numbers being reported this year are on a higher base.

Stocks of pharmaceutical companies ended the day on a weak note with Wockhardt and Aurobindo Pharma leading the pack of losers. As reported by a leading business daily, pharma major Lupin is looking at acquisitions in the Indian market to boost revenues driven by new product launches aided by strategic in-licensing alliances. In addition, the company is also looking at acquisitions in market, in which it is not present so far. The company is expecting an overall growth of about 20% in the current year, which will be fueled by its India business, which forms nearly a fourth of overall revenues. In order to enhance its portfolio, Lupin has been evaluating various options for acquiring companies or brands since some time in domestic and international markets. The company has in the past acquired various brands in the US, a market where it is the fifth largest generics player.

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Jan 22, 2018 (Close)