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Indian stocks advanced slightly Thursday as investors squared up futures positions or rolled them over on expiration day, which falls on the last Thursday of every month. Analysts in the region said an above-average percentage of futures positions were rolled over for another month and Far East investors held off from making new commitments on either the buy or sell side.

"I see the market trying to stabilize for the next two to three sessions," said Raj Bhandai, director and derivatives trader at Networth Stock Broking.

The Bombay Stock Exchange's benchmark 30-stock Sensex Index added 23 points, or 0.1%, to 16,721.

Indian banking giant


(HDB) - Get HDFC Bank Limited Report

reported a 37% rise in fourth-quarter profits but cautioned investors on the future of loan growth in India. The bank reported that net profits jumped to 4.71 billion rupees ($117 million) for the fourth quarter, vs. 3.44 billion from the previous year. Net interest income jumped 56% to 16.42 billion rupees, vs. 10.55 billion from a year ago. The company forecasts its loan growth to be 25% to 30%. American depositary shares of HDFC traded up 2.7% to $109.73.

Indian information technology service provider


(INFY) - Get Infosys Limited American Depositary Shares Report

announced it will invest 5 billion rupees ($125 million) in a new development center in the eastern city of Kolkata. The company plans to create 5,000 jobs over a period of time to staff the center. Shares of Infosys rose 2.1% to $43.08.

Elsewhere in the information technology sector,


(SYNT) - Get Syntel, incorporated Report

, a U.S. firm that has a large exposure to the Indian IT market, reported a 30.6% rise in revenue to $98.5 million, vs. Wall Street estimates of $96.9 million. The company sees full-year 2008 EPS of $1.69 to $1.78, vs. estimates of $1.69 and full-year 2008 revenue of $407 million to $420 million, vs. estimates $418.82 million. Shares of Syntel ripped 10% higher to $32.11 on twice the average-daily volume.

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Tata Motors

(TTM) - Get Tata Motors Ltd Limited Report

said to a news agency that the Indian auto giant plans to take a minority stake in Italian car designer


. Under the deal, both firms will launch a R&D and engineering center in Pune, India. Pininfarina is best known for designing the Italian luxury sports car Ferrari. Shares of Tata finished essentially flat at $16.13.

Be sure to check out the

Far East Portfolio

at every night to find out which stocks in India and China are making big moves and announcing major news.

China Recap

Stocks in China hit a one-day record gain of 9.3% on Thursday after the Ministry of Finance cut the tax stamp on stock transactions, in a move to support falling share prices. Dealers in the region said the timing of the tax stamp cut couldn't have happened at a better time, with the Shanghai Index hovering around the psychologically important 3,000 level. The Shanghai Composite Index exploded higher by 304.7 points, or 9.3%, to 3,583.

"The government has taken a stand and shown that they are here, and that they don't want the market to drop further," said Dale Tsang, managing director at Imperial Dragon Asset Management.

The tax stamp cut also helped to lift shares in Hong Kong to a three-month closing high. "The news of the stamp duty cut is providing a boost to sentiment, but given recent gains in the Hang Seng Index, further upside will be limited in the short term," said Linus Yip, a strategist at First Shanghai Securities.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 391.5 points, or 1.6%, to 25,680.

Piper Jaffray started coverage on Chinese solar company


(SOL) - Get Renesola Ltd. ADR Report

with a buy rating and a $25 price target, citing cheap valuation. Piper analyst Jesse Pichel said he thinks the company can expand long-term margins as the product mix changes towards multicrystalline wafers from mono and as tolling revenue accelerates. American depositary shares of ReneSola fell 1.7% to $17.27.

Elsewhere in the solar complex,

Trina Solar


announced it has inked a six-year polysilicon supply deal with

Silfab S.p.A.

. Under the terms of the deal, Silfab will supply Trina Solar with virgin polysilicon that will produce around 225 MW of solar modules starting in 2010. Shares of Trina Solar traded up 0.5% to $42.20.

Crude oil prices cooled off Thursday dropping over $2.33 a barrel to $115.93. Investors took advantage of the action and locked in gains in a number of Chinese solar and energy ADRs.


(CEO) - Get CNOOC Ltd. Report

, dove 6% to $173.79;

Solarfun Power

( SOLF), lost 4.1% to $13.84;

Canadian Solar

(CSIQ) - Get Canadian Solar Inc. Report

, dropped 4.1% to $23.95;

Suntech Power


, shed 5.7% to $43.49; and

Yingli Green Energy


, fell 2.1% to $22.43.

AsiaInfo Holdings


a provider of software to Chinese telecom companies, reported a 16% jump in first-quarter total revenue and a 31% rise in first-quarter net revenue. AsiaInfo said total net income for the first quarter was $5.3 million, or 12 cents a share, vs. $6.4 million, or 15 cents a share, from a year earlier. The company also beat first-quarter EPS guidance and announced it repurchased 166,400 shares as part of its stock-buyback program. Shares of AsiaInfo rose 4.5% to $12.81.

Spreadtrum Communications


, one of China's leading wireless chipmakers, announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with

WingTech Group

. The companies plan to leverage their respective cutting-edge chip and handset design technologies to develop feature rich entry-level phones -- with features like MP3 playback, stereo output, voice recording and Bluetooth interface for wireless data transmissions. Shares of Spreadtrum advanced 5.9% to $8.24.

Be sure to check out the

Far East Portfolio

at 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



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