Asian markets weren't a kind place for investors Monday as U.S. recession fears continue to weigh on the Far East. In Hong Kong, the benchmark index Hang Seng dropped 853.35, or 3.6%, to 22,616.11. The decline marked a new three-week low for the index as officials of the G-7, which consists of the finance ministers of the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, U.K., Italy and Canada, worried investors with talk of declining growth for global economies.
The G-7 also raised the urgency for China to accelerate the appreciation of the yuan against all its major trading partners' currencies. China's benchmark stock index, the Shanghai Index, was closed Monday for the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.
In America, Chinese ADR Baidu.com (BIDU - Get Report) traded up 6% on average volume after the stock received a Wall Street upgrade. Pacific Crest analyst Steven Weinstein raised his rating on the Chinese search engine to outperform from sector perform and set a $350 price target. Weinstein believes that BIDU can sustain revenue growth of 100% or more over the next two years.
JA Solar Holdings (JASO - Get Report) was also a hot name on Monday as shares surged 12% on more than twice the average daily trading volume. Lehman Brothers solar energy equity research analyst Vishal Shah issued bullish comments on JASO, citing an attractive risk/reward for the Chinese solar play. Shah's bullish comments also helped lift other Chinese alternative energy plays like Yingli Green Energy Holding (YGE - Get Report), up 11%; LDK Solar (LDK) up 11%; Suntech Power Holdings (STP), up 10.5%; China Sunergy (CSUN), up 8%; and Solarfun Power Holdings (SOLF), up 7%.On the downside, Chinese financial media plays Xinhua Finance Media (XFML) and China Finance Online (JRJC - Get Report) fell 6% and 4%, respectively, on no news. Piper Jaffray came out Monday and initiated coverage on The9 Limited (NCTY) with a neutral rating and a $21 price target. The9 Limited, which ended Monday down 4% at $16.43, wasn't helped by the lofty price target or Jaffray's cautious comments on its earnings visibility for 2008 and 2009. Make sure to check out the Far East Portfolio every night at Stockpickr.com to find out which stocks in India and China are making big new and moves.