Barring Indonesia (up 0.3%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the red with stock markets in Japan (down 0.2%) and Hong Kong(down 1.5%) leading the losses. However, the Indian share markets have opened the day on a firm note. Barring realty, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the energy and FMCG sector leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 100 points (0.5%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 30 points (0.4%). The midcap and smallcap stocks have opened in the green as well with BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 59.99 to the US dollar.
Indian Pharma stocks have opened mixed with Wockhardt Ltd and Panacea Biotech leading the gains. However, Strides Arcolab Ltd and Glenmark Pharma Ltd were facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd has decided to shut its plant at Detroit and to lay off 123 employees. The facility was owned by the US subsidiary and was under the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scanner for violation of manufacturing norms. In 2013, the USFDA had raised concerns about manufacturing lapses at its Detroit plant which as per the management were addressed by the company. The company has given assurance to compensate the employees with more than their regular entitlement under the severance package. As per the company, the manufacturing of the products will be shifted to other facilities to avoid market shortage. The management has further suggested that the move will have negligible impact on consolidated revenues for FY15.
Energy stocks have opened mainly in the green with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) leading the gains. However, Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Castrol India Ltd were trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, Kazakhstan has offered ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas exploration arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC), a stake in a medium sized Abai oil block in the Caspian Sea. It is important to note here that almost a year back, Kazakhstan had blocked India's deal to take stake in Kashagan oilfield in a US$ 5 bn deal. The Abai block was previously being operated by Statoil of Norway. OVL has been offered 25% interest in the block. As per the to Kazakhstan government estimates, the block has 2.8 billion barrels of oil reserves. However, the Indian firm is slightly skeptical about the estimates of the Kazakhstan government and will do its own study before accepting the offer.