Thursday's Asia Stocks Recap
Updated from 5:08 p.m. EDT
Stocks in India followed global market trends Thursday, with the Sensitive Index plunging 770.63 points, or 4.8%, to 15,357.35. Heavy selling pressure hit the Indian markets for the entire trading session as investors fear the global credit crisis was worsened by the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to pump $200 billion into the system.
J.P. Morgan also contributed to the battered investor sentiment, cutting the growth outlook for India to 7% for the current fiscal year from 7.5%.
"The market's appetite for absorbing bad news is very limited. There is more bad news flowing in from global markets than from the domestic environment," said Sanjay Sinha, chief investment officer at SBI Funds Management in Mumbai.Indian banking giant Icici Bank (IBN) received some good news Thursday, after Moody's Investor Service said it would not be changing its rating the bank. Moody's said it sees no impact from Icici's mark-to-market writedown of its credit derivates and fixed-income investment portfolios. ADR shares of Icici Bank fell 1.8% to $42.24. Indian technology ADRs were one of the few bright spots for the region, with Satyam Computer (SAY) trading up 3.9% to $22.41; Rediff.com (REDF), rising 3.4% to $7.25; and Sify Technologies (SIFY) finishing up 0.7% to $4.20. Indian auto maker Tata Motors (TTM) is looking for engine price guarantees from Ford Motor (F) if the proposed purchase of luxury car brands Jaguar and Land Rover gets completed, according to The Detroit News. ADR shares of Tata Motors fell 1.3% to $15.78. 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.
China RecapAsian stocks sold off sharply Thursday due to growing concerns over economic growth and the rapidly declining U.S. dollar. China's Shanghai Composite Index dipped below the 4,000-level, losing 98.85 points, or 2.4%, to 3,971.26. Hong Kong's major stock market index, the Hang Seng plunged 1121.12 points, or 4.8%, to 22.301.64. Inventors in the Far East continue to avoid equities as many in the region fear China's central bank will have to raise interest rates to fight off inflation. "Investors are concerned the Chinese government will announce some monetary tightening measures after the ongoing Congress meeting," said Conita Hung, head of equity markets at Delta Asia Financial Group in Hong Kong. Leading Chinese advertising company Focus Media Holding (FMCN) was hit with some good news Thursday. Piper Jaffray came out and reiterated the company as its "top pick" with a buy rating and an $82 price target. ADR shares of Focus Media closed up 1.3% to $45.81. Also in the Chinese advertising sector, AirMedia Group (AMCN) and Shanghai Media Group announced a strategic partnership to provide programs to air travelers, according to Tmcnet.com. ADR shares of AirMedia declined 4.4% to $17.19. Crude oil prices set a record high of $110.70 a barrel as the falling dollar prompted inventors seek solace in black gold. Chinese alternative energy stocks saw strong demand off the record oil prints as investors flocked to the group. Bullish news out of LDK Solar (LDK) also benefited the sector, after the company said it has sold out of almost its entire solar wafer capacity for 2008 and has sold more than 90% of capacity for 2009.
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