Updated from 6:28 p.m. EDT
Indian equity markets fell Thursday amidst another volatile trading session as investors avoided stocks ahead of inflation data set to be released by the government on Friday.
The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index slipped 95.41 points, or 0.6%, to 15,695.10.
"It is clearly going to be inflation that is going to be the most important trend decider over the next few sessions," said Nilesh Shah, managing director and CEO of Envision Capital, "and that is going to decide whether this market is going to be able to cross the 16,000 mark and close above it and trade above it for several more sessions, or whether it is going to kind of give up all its gains of the recent days and trend even lower."
In the Indian banking sector,
is reportedly in talks with
Moscow Bank of Reconstruction and Development
for a partnership to sell mortgage loan products in Russia, according to
. "We are talking to ICICI Bank. The deal may be finalized soon and we feel this will be a win-win situation for both the banks," MBRD Chairman Sergey Zaytsev said. American depositary shares of Icici fell 2.3% to $40.13 on the
New York Stock Exchange
Leading Indian information technology solutions provider
Satyam Computer Services
announced its business process outsourcing (BPO) division has won two prestigious shared service excellence awards from the International Quality and Productivity Council. Satyam BPO was awarded the "Best Business Process Outsourcing Provider" and the first runner-up for the "Best Customer Service Delivery Framework." Shares of Satyam closed higher by 4% to $23.39.
Some of the few Indian ADRs to fall Thursday were,
, which lost 4.7% to $23.45, and
, which shed 0.4% to $99.81.
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.
Stocks in China and Hong Kong rebounded Thursday as bargain hunters bought up shares they deemed to be oversold. Stocks in Shanghai were helped by a strong first-quarter profit forecast from
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
(ICBC). Dealers in the region said investor sentiment was lifted after the ICBC report and market participants are now more optimistic that other companies will announce strong earnings and bullish guidance.
Market players in the Far East are also speculating that the
U.S. Federal Reserve
is going to release more liquidity into the global financial system to help ease the credit crisis.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 54.84 points, or 1.7%, to 3,471.74, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 202.53 points, or 0.8%, to 24,187.10.
China's advertising network giant
declined sharply for the second day in a row Thursday after the company cut its 2008 fiscal year forecast, citing a decline in revenue due to changes in its text-messaging advertising polices. Focus Media said it now sees 2008 revenue coming in at $860 million to $890 million, vs. previous estimates of $900 million to $930 million. The company also cut its mobile handset revenue forecast to a range of $14 million to $15.8 million, vs. a previous target of $54 million to $55.8 million. American depositary shares of Focus Media fell by 8.9% to $31.53.
Leading Chinese oil and gas player
(PTR - Get Report)
was hit with a downgrade by Citigroup from hold to sell Thursday. Citigroup analyst Graham Cunningham said that earnings for PetroChina will come under pressure due to higher losses for its refining division. He thinks PetroChina will miss first-quarter earnings estimates. Shares of PTR finished essentially flat at $131.10