Opening bell 29 August

Opening bell 29 August

Mumbai: The much awaited Jackson Hole speech did not yield any special packages. However, what US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke promised is to have a “fuller discussion" on the US economy and take appropriate measures to boost the economy. The optimistic comments sent US stocks higher on Friday. The S&P 500 at 1,176 rose 1.51% on buying in financial services stocks.

The positive comments have led to a mixed opening in the Asian markets. Stock markets in Asia are swinging between gains and losses as investors cautiously await further economic data from the US before taking fresh positions. Nikkei at 8,807 is up by 0.11%.

Back home, rising prices are taking a toll on the discretionary spending of the consumers. With inflation remaining high, organised retailers are witnessing a slowdown in revenues. Analysts expect weak revenues for retail chains for another 1-2 quarters.

The government is likely to hold a high level meeting to discuss bringing anti-cancer drugs under a price control mechanism. In 2010, the Supreme Court issued a directive to bring all drugs that are part of the National List of Essential Medicines under the Drug Price Control Order, which allows the government to mandate the price at which the drugs are sold.

Shipping Corporation of India has reportedly put on hold its plan to issue fresh tenders to acquire new ships. With cost of funding rising and overcapacity in the market, the company has decided to put its capacity addition plans on hold.

Central Coalfields, a subsidiary of Coal India, is planning to more than double its coal production to 4 million tonnes over the next three years through underground mining. Currently the company is producing 1.5 million tonnes per annum.

Maruti Suzuki is aiming to launch 15-20 new vehicles in five years. The company wants to focus on low-cost vehicles to remain competitive and protect its market share.

ONGC is likely to start oil and gas production from the KG basin field GS-15 from next month. According to reports, the company has asked the petroleum ministry to identify users for the gas and approve a price of $4.75 per million British thermal units.

Insecticides India is planning to invest around 70 crore on expansion over the next two years. As part of the investment, the company will be setting up a new plant in Rajasthan. At present, the company has five plants.

Pharmaceutical firm Wockhardt is planning to expand its product portfolio in the US market. It is planning to launch 12-15 products in the US market in the current financial year. Currently, the company markets over 60 products in the US.

And finally, the ensuing festive season is expected to push milk prices higher due to festive demand and scarcity of fodder. With milk prices already rising by more than 20% in the past one year, a further increase in prices will only add to inflationary pressures. Read more...