India was no home for stock market bulls on Friday. Heavy selling swept through Bombay as concerns about rising inflation hit home for traders.
India's annual inflation rate spiked to a six-month high, coming in at 4.35% for the week ending Feb. 9, vs. 4.07% for the prior week. The blame for the acceleration in inflation was put squarely on India's rising energy and food prices. The benchmark Sensitive Index closed near the daily lows losing 385.61 points, or 2.17%, to 17,349.07.
Indian ADRs found little love among investors on Friday. Share declines were found across the board as the selling in Bombay found a home on the American exchanges. One bright spot was telecommunications firm Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTE). Shares of MTE were one of the few Indian ADRs to advance on Friday, trading up 1%.
Financial stocks ICICI Bank (IBN) and HDFC Bank (HDB - Get Report) were hit hard, falling 4.6% and 2.6%. It's worth noting that the selling volume on ICICI Bank was twice the average daily volume. Amidst that heavy trading volume, ICICI Bank announced plans to begin operations in Frankfurt, Germany next week. HDFC Bank said it plans to sell $1 billion of medium-term notes to help raise capital for future expansion plans. HDFC bank executives will also be meeting with the board of Centurion Bank of Punjab to discuss a possible merger of the two banks on Saturday. Speculation of the meeting -- which was denied Thursday by both parties -- was confirmed Friday.Indian technology and Internet stocks struggled to advance Friday. Losses were seen in shares of Patni Computer Systems (PTI), down 2.5%, Sify Technologies (SIFY - Get Report), off 2%, and Rediff.com (REDF), falling 2%. Information technology leader Satyam Computer fell 1% despite announcing plans to set up more centers of excellence directed at acquiring more market share out of the health care and insurance sectors, according to the Business Standard. Be sure to check out the Far East Portfolio at Stockpickr.com every night to find out which stocks in India and China are making big moves and announcing major news.