The Indian markets slipped back into the red towards the end of the trading session after recovering early losses in the post-noon trading session. The BSE-Sensex closed lower by about 71 points or 0.3%, while the NSE-Nifty closed lower by about 38 points. Barring banking, metal and oil & gaseous stocks, weakness was seen across the board, with realty and healthcare stocks leading the pack of losers. Mid and smallcaps ended the day on a weak note with their respective indices down by about 0.6% and 1.1% respectively.
Stock markets in other parts of Asia ended the day on a mixed note, while sentiments in Europe seemed negative at the time of writing. The rupee had fallen to Rs 63.56 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Mining stocks have closed mainly in the red with Ashapura Minechem and MOIL Ltd leading the losses. As per the provisional data from online market operator mjunction's data (based on the monitoring of vessel positions and figures from shipping firm), coal imports have risen 7 % to a three-month high of 16.08 million tonnes (MT) in November on a year on year basis. One of the reasons for increase in imports could be falling coal prices prompting companies to stock up on the commodity. However, as rupee continues to fall on account of brewing concerns in Russia, coal imports may become expensive. It is noteworthy that India buys most of its coal from Indonesia, Australia and South Africa .
Stocks of Indian pharmaceutical companies ended the day mainly in the red with Wockhardt and Aurobindo Pharma leading the pack of losers. As per a leading financial daily, the drug maker Novartis has moved to Delhi High Court seeking to restrain Cipla Ltd from selling an affordable version of its respiratory drug Onbrez in India. Novartis aims to shut down an affordable drug by Cipla and has clearly said that it will not locally manufacture, but only import the drug in question. As per the industry experts, Novartis' stand is a clear violation of IP laws, that suggest that the patent has to be 'locally worked' - i.e, be affordable and available to patients in the country. A final verdict on the case is expected in January 2015.