With inflation levels remaining high, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)in its monetary policy has kept key rates unchanged. Thus repo rate and Cash Reserve Ratio were maintained at 7.75% and 4% respectively whereas the Marginal Standing Facility was kept at 8.75%. RBI's stance of keeping status quo also stems from the uncertainty surrounding the outlook for inflation with signs of likely fall in vegetable prices and weak state of the economy. The Wholesale Price Inflation for the month of November shot up to a 14-month high of 7.5% YoY on the back of high food prices. The RBI governor has said that that there are indications from the metros that the vegetable prices are expected to fall significantly both at the wholesale and retail level which has lent credence to keeping interest rates stable. At the same time, RBI has said that it will remain vigilant on inflation levels in the economy and also the possibility of tapering of quantitative easing by the US Fed that can disrupt external markets.
Most of the Indian pharma stocks are trading in green with Orchid chemicals and Biocon Ltd among the leading losers. According to a financial daily, Ranbaxy Laboratories received approval for Plendil generics for all the three strengths viz; 2.5mg, 5mg, and 10mg from USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration). This drug is used to cure hypertension. There are already 6-7 players for this drug and has the market size of US$ 60 m. The size of the drug is quite small and thus Ranbaxy will not have any material benefit. However, with this approval coming in, it is expected that the company will also receive approval for its pending drugs in some time. Ranbaxy is currently trading down by 0.5%