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Indian stock markets open flat
Wed, 24 Dec 09:30 am

Barring China, majority of the Asian stock markets have opened the day on firm note with Japan (up 1.15%) and Taiwan (up 0.7%) leading the gainers. The Indian stock markets have opened flat today. Most of the sectoral indices have opened in the red with metal and realty stocks leading the pack of losers.

As we approach the end of 2014, what will be the risks the Indian markets could face in 2015? Read our edition of the 5 Minute Wrapup to know more.

The Sensex today is up by around 17 points (0.06%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 6 points (0.07%). The mid cap and small cap stocks have opened in the green with BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index up by 0.08% and 0.11% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 63.40 to the US dollar.

Majority of the MNC pharma stocks have opened the day on a firm note, with Glaxosmithkline Pharma (GSK Pharma) and Novartis Ltd leading the pack of gainers. As per a financial daily, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given the green signal for GSK Pharma and Novartis deal. As per the deal, the UK-based parent company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will be acquiring the Swiss major's vaccine business, while the latter would purchase GSK's cancer drugs portfolio. The deal also involves purchase of the global human vaccines business of Novartis. Reportedly, as per the CCI, with regard to the vaccine deal, the said deal is not likely to have appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.

Majority of the automobile stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Ultratech Cement and Heildelberg Cement being the leading gainers. As per a financial daily, Ultratech Cement has entered into a deal with Jaiprakash Associates to buy two cement plants for US$ 852 m. This includes the debt component of the plants. Reportedly, both these plants are located in Madhya Pradesh. Jaiprakash has been selling assets in recent quarters to cut its heavy debt load and improve its balance sheet. For Ultratech, the deal will initially raise its cement capacity in India to 65 million tonnes per year from 60 million tones. This figure is expected to rise to 71 million tonnes a year by 2016.

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