Mumbai: Manufacturing activity might be losing steam in India, but in the world’s largest economy, the U.S., it is steadily gathering pace. The U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s index of national manufacturing activity rose to 53.4 from 52.4 in February. Economists were forecasting the index at 53.
The better than expected manufacturing data sparked a rally in stocks of energy and basic materials companies. S&P 500 rose 0.75% to 1,419.
Markets in Asia, though, opened on a mixed note. While a stronger Yen is leading to profit booking in Japanese shares, the strong manufacturing data from the U.S. has lifted South Korean shares. South Korea’s Kospi 2,044 is up 0.76%.
Back home, the government is likely to issue a presidential directive to Coal India on fuel supply agreements, reports Business Standard. The directive would force the company to sign fuel supply agreements with power companies at 80% commitment levels.
Meanwhile, the company missed the production target of 447 million tonnes set by the Union government. It ended fiscal 2011-12 with a production of 435.84 million tonnes, just 1% higher than the previous year.
Keep an eye on Ranbaxy Laboratories stock. The company has resumed exports of cholesterol lowering drug, Atorvastatin, to the US market from its manufacturing facility in Punjab.
Despite the assurances, Kingfisher Airlines staff has issued an ultimatum on salary dues. More than 7,000 employees of the airline have threatened to go on strike if the management does not clear their December and January dues by Tuesday night.
To fund the acquisition of Paras Pharmaceuticals’ personal care portfolio, Marico is looking to sell 5% stake in the company, reports Business Standard. According to the report, the company is looking to raise Rs 500 crore from the stake sale.
Dhanlaxmi Bank is planning to close more than 10% of its branches, reports The Economic Times. The bank reportedly wants to close branches operating in high cost areas.
Piramal Healthcare will be renamed Piramal Enterprises. The company informed the stock exchanges that its board had approved the proposal to change the name.
Finally, New York has emerged as the city with the most global clout in a worldwide survey of cities. The survey, which examined 66 of the world’s busiest urban centers, judged each on the scope of its business activity, labor force, amenities and political influence. Read the Bloomberg report.