Stocks in Bombay rose Friday as market players ignored more troublesome inflation data. The wholesale price index jumped to three-year highs of 7.57% for the week ending on April 19, up from 7.33% a week earlier, due to rising costs for rice, milk, tea, vegetables and manufactured goods. Economists had forecast a 7.42% increase. Analysts in the region said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might be forced to take more drastic measures to tame inflation, or risk losing public support in the general elections next year.
"People now realize that inflation is expected to remain around that level. So, the same piece of bad news will not impact the market every week," said Daljeet Kohli, head of research at Emkay Share & Stock Brokers.
The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index surged 312.81 points, or 1.81%, to 17,600.12.
Indian auto maker company
reported sales including exports in April fell 5.8% to 38,149 units, vs. 40,486 units in the same month a year earlier, due to falling demand for passenger cars. Passenger car sales in April declined 12% to 14,843 units, while commercial vehicles jumped 7% to 21,001 units. American depositary shares of TTM rose 1% to $17.15.
(INFY - Get Report)
, a leading information technology firm in India, announced it might be forced to change its name in France after a civil court ruled on April 15 that its name infringes on the trademark and corporate identity of French firm
. The company said it will appeal the ruling and has sought a stay on the decision, but failure to obtain a stay on the ruling, or an adverse final decision, might force the company to change its name and could damage its operations in France. Shares of INFY advanced 1.5% to $44.94.
Indian banking giant
announced it isn't in a hurry to sell a stake in its securities division and will wait for the right time to do so, according to Chief Executive K.V. Kamath. The bank plans to raise $1 billion by selling up to a 15% stake in its investment banking and brokerage division
ICICI Securities Ltd.
, in a sale of shares to the public and select strategic investors. Shares of IBN traded up 2.5% to $46.90.
Leading the pack among Indian ADRs Friday were,
, which added 5.3% to $9.20;
, which advanced 4.5% to $27.18; and
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam
, which closed higher by 3% to $5.76.
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 Hong Kong soared Friday after the Monetary Authority, the region's central bank, cut the base rate for its discount window by 25 basis points to 3.5%, tracking the
decision to drop the benchmark funds rate by 25 basis points to 2%.
"Local shares took their lead from the strong showing on Wall Street," said Linus Yip, a strategist with First Shanghai Securities.
Asian investors also ignored a report from
Goldman Sachs Group
saying it cut its outlook on the Chinese stock markets to market weight from overweight. In a note to clients, Goldman said valuations and risks to earnings makes the risk/reward equation for Chinese equities less compelling.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 485.67 points, or 1.89%, to 25,241.02. The Shanghai Index was closed on Friday for the national May Day holiday and will reopen on Monday.
(BIDU - Get Report)
, China's top Internet search engine, has started a campaign to run user-generated Olympic slogans on its website, according to
. The company plans to pick the best slogans and run them in key advertising spaces on its site. Baidu plans to donate more than 100 advertising slots worth around RMB10 million for the campaign. American depositary shares of BIDU slipped 2.3% to $361.50.
Elsewhere in the Internet complex, S&P Equity Research downgraded shares of Chinese online financial data provider
China Finance Online
(JRJC - Get Report)
from buy to hold, citing valuation. Shares of JRJC finished up 3% to $22.66.
Hong Kong-based maker of pop-culture collectibles
announced it has sold the Corgi collectibles die-casting business along with the Corgi Classics brand, tooling and intellectual property rights to U.K.-based
Hornby Hobbies Limited
for around $15 million. Shares of CRGI closed down 1.9% to $1.00.
The Chinese airline sector took off Friday, despite crude oil prices rising $3.82 to $116.34 a barrel on the
New York Mercantile Exchange
China Eastern Airlines
ripped higher by 8.6% to $48.40 and
China Southern Airlines
surged 6.9% to $36.03.
Chinese independent insurance agency and brokerage company
announced it has inked a deal with Jinan-based automobile dealer
to jointly launch an auto insurance agency called Shangdong CNinsure Xinguangyuan Insurance Agency. Under the terms of the deal, CNinsure will control a 51% stake in the new company, which will focus on selling auto insurance in Shangdong. Shares of CISG rose 1% to $14.57.
Some big movers among Chinese-based stocks Friday were,
, which ripped higher by 17% to $1.43;
Home Inns & Hotels Management
, which jumped 11% higher to $25.08;
, which surged 9.7% to $8.98; and
, which closed higher by 7.7% to $21.71.
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. For more on Asia, check out
Daniel Harrison's coverage