Auto stocks lead the day

Indian share markets pared early gains and trended lower in the post-noon trading session. The BSE Sensex however managed to close just above the 28,000 mark. BSE-Sensex closed up by 99 points and NSE-Nifty by 21 points. BSE Mid Cap closed higher by 0.5% and BSE Small Cap index by 0.2%. The sectoral indices closed mixed with auto and banking stocks being the biggest gainers.

As regards to the global markets, the Asian pack closed mixed today with Hong Kong leading the gains. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.47 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Telecom stocks closed the day on a mixed note with the gainers being led by AGC Networks and Bharti Airtel. As per a leading business daily, telecom tower company Bharti Infratel has approached Vodafone and Idea Cellular with a proposal to buy their mobile towers in 7 out of 22 telecom circles in the country. It may be noted that the company has over 36,381 standalone mobile towers spread across 18 states under 11 telecom circles. The company intends to buy the towers in those circles wherein it is sole operator. It is now waiting for them the two companies to come back with responses to its proposal.

Auto stocks have closed the day on a positive note led by the stock of Ashok Leyland which has closed higher by almost 7%. As per a leading business daily, Ashok Leyland is planning to sell its stake in a few of its overseas joint ventures and associate companies. It is currently in looking for suitable buyer in this regard. The company has mentioned that while the process to do this is currently underway, a final suitor for the same is yet to be identified.

Indices lose momentum
01:30 pm

Indian share markets pared early gains and trended lower in the post-noon trading session. They continue to trade above the dotted line however. The sectoral indices are trading mixed with auto and banking stocks being the biggest Gainers.

BSE-Sensex is up 90 points and NSE-Nifty is trading 22 points up. BSE Mid Cap is trading 0.5% up and BSE Small Cap index is trading up marginally. The rupee is trading at 61.47 to the US dollar.

Indian pharma stocks are trading mixed with Piramal Enterprise and Aurobindo pharma being the leading gainers, while Cadila healthcare and Orchid chemicals are the leading losers in the pack. As per the financial daily, the Indian pharma companies have witnessed hit in the US sales due to delay in the US drug approvals. Reportedly, the drugmakers expect slowdown in approvals to continue for next two quarters due to ongoing overhaul in the review process. The USFDA had implemented the Generic Drug User Fee Act (GDUFA) programme in October 2012, to expedite the approval for sale of generic drugs. However, not much progress is made to clear the existing backlog of applications. Delay in drug approvals has now begun to impact the US sales.

Power stocks are trading mixed led by CESC and KSK Energy. As per a leading business daily, the central government has asked Coal India to more than double its production and output to 1 billion tonnes by 2019 to feed the current and new power plants. This may enable India to stop imports of thermal coal used for power generation, and the power ministry has indicated that this may happen as soon as in the next three years itself. This will help instill confidence and induce investment in the power generation sector in India, something that has been sorely missing over the past couple of years.

Sensex trades above 28,000
11:30 am

After opening firm, the Indian Indices are trading at record highs during the morning session. Banking and auto stocks are leading the gainers; while metal stocks are trading in the red.

The BSE-Sensex is trading up 195 points. The NSE-Nifty is trading up 47 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up 0.9% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.7%. The rupee is trading at 61.49 to the US dollar.

Indian pharma stocks are trading mixed with, Piramal Enterprise and Aurobindo pharma being the leading gainers while Cadila healthcare and Dishman pharma being the leading losers in the pack. Aurobindo pharma has announced that the company has emerged as the highest bidder for acquiring Natrol; which manufactures supplements. Reportedly, the process has reached final stage and will be approved by United States bankruptcy court of district of Delaware. Under the auction process, Aurobindo USA emerged as the highest and best bidder with a bid of US$132.5 million to acquire the assets of Natrol with an agreement to take on certain liabilities. Aurobindo USA believes that Natrol is an excellent strategic fit and provides the right platform for creating a fully-integrated OTC platform in the USA and in other international markets. The acquisition will benefit Aurobindo. Post acquisition Aurobindo will have access to its strong portfolio, having presence in variety of attractive supplements market. Thus this will be a new line of segment for the company. Aurobindo pharma was trading up by 3.8% at the time of writing.

Software stocks are trading mixed today. While Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is leading the gainers; HCL Tech is leading the losers. India's second largest software firm Infosys, is betting big on software products to revive its fortunes. The company's R&D division, Infosys Labs, has been at the centre of the new CEO Vishal Sikka's efforts to transform the company into a next generation services firm. To this end the company has stated that Infosys Labs will develop and implement new disruptive technologies. At the forefront will be automation technologies as well as artificial intelligence. The company has repositioned the division to focus on these technologies and come up with products that will benefit clients. The stock was trading up 0.3% at the time of writing.

Indian share markets open firm
09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with the markets in Japan (up 1.4%) and Indonesia (up 0.6%) leading the gains. However, the markets in Taiwan (down 1.2%) and China (down 0.3%) are trading in the red. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a positive note. The sectoral indices are trading mixed with banking and auto indices leading the gains. However, the power and capital goods indices are trading weak.

The Sensex today is up by around 149 points (0.5%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 32 points (0.4%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.41 to the US dollar.

Power stocks have opened the day mainly in the red with Jaiprakash Power and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) leading the losses. PGCIL has announced its financial results for the quarter ended September 2014 (2QFY15). During the quarter, the company's standalone net sales grew by 4.3% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 41,533 million. Operating profit increased by 5.8% YoY to Rs 35,798.7 million. Operating margin expanded from 84.6% in 2QFY14 to 85.7% in 2QFY15. However, the bottomline declined by 3.1% YoY to Rs 12,012.7 million owing to higher depreciation and interest expenses.

Oil and gas stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Indraprastha Gas and MRPL leading the gains. However, Petronet LNG and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, India's state oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) are again likely to cut petrol and diesel rates on account of sharp decline in international crude oil prices. This will be the seventh cut in petrol rates since June 2014 and the third cut in diesel rates since it was decontrolled on October 18, 2014. For consumers, the two fuels are already 10-13% cheaper than their peak rates earlier during the year. It must be noted that fuel prices are reviewed and aligned with global trends in the beginning and middle of every month.

Big hurdles to 'Make in India'

'Make in India'. This is the development slogan with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aiming to revive the Indian economy and make the country a global manufacturing hub. The share of the manufacturing sector to India gross domestic product (GDP) currently stands around 15. His government aims to take this to 25% of GDP in the coming years. While this is indeed a noble vision, it is not at all going to be easy.

Here are some facts that should worry Indian policymakers:

As per an article in Livemint, Tata Steel shut down its largest iron-ore mine on account of delays in permits. State-run steel maker Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) too has pulled down the shutter on its top-yielding quarries owing to pending renewal of it lease. Another steel player JSW Steel Ltd's plan to commence mining operations in Jharkhand have been impacted by a probe into the mine allocation process. Given that iron-ore and steel are the critical inputs in most manufacturing industries, the supply of these basic materials can be a major hindrance to 'Make in India'.

These instances are not exceptions but point to India's unending and unyielding bureaucracy. It is no wonder that India's slipped down two positions to 142 out of 189 economies in the World Bank's latest 'ease of doing business' rankings. Regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles continue to impede investments and economic activity in the country. Unless these are resolved, India's dream to become a global manufacturing hub may not manifest.