The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note with the stock markets in Hong Kong (down 1.6%) and Japan (down 1.1%) leading the losses. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a firm note. The sectoral indices were trading mixed with the stocks in the banking and capital goods sector leading the gains. However, the stocks in the software and healthcare segments were leading the losses.
The Sensex today is up by around 45 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 11 points (0.2%). The mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.6% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.30 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Adani Power Ltd and National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's largest power producer NTPC has challenged the electricity regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission's (CERC) order on tariff norms in the Delhi High Court. The regulations issued by CERC led to a steep fall in stock valuations due to concerns regarding company's earnings. As such, NTPC has taken CERC to court seeking a stay on the tariff guidelines for power plants catering to more than one state. NTPC has argued that the regulator lacks consistency in its principles for tariff determination and that the new norms would hit its profitability. It is to be noted that while the new norms aim to increase the operational efficiency of power plants, they are likely to reduce profits of NTPC's ageing plants. CERC has also eliminated many incentives for generation and transmission, which it thought added to inefficiency and was not fair to the consumer. Because of the new regulations, NTPC's ability to recover costs for older plants having higher cost structure will also be constrained.
Indian Pharma stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Indoco Remedies Ltd and Dishman Pharma Ltd leading the gains. However, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd and Panacea Biotech Ltd were leading the losses As per a leading financial daily, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, already hit by regulatory rebukes due to manufacturing quality issues, has recently recalled more than 64,000 bottles of the generic version of a cholesterol-lowering drug in the United States after dosage mix-up was detected. The company has recalled tablets of atorvastatin calcium, the generic version of Pfizer Inc's cholesterol fighter Lipitor. As per the U.S Food and Drug Administration website, the bottles were recalled after a pharmacist found a 20-milligram tablet in a sealed bottle marked for 10-milligram tablets. The company has confirmed that recall of select batches of the drug.