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Indian stocks fell for the fourth day in a row Thursday as the rupee continued to trade lower against the dollar. Dealers said inflation concerns are running high with oil prices already at dangerous levels. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index dropped 258.66 points, or 1.49%, to 17,080.65

"Markets are going to remain within a range with bouts of volatility as they react to each and every development," said Prashant Bhansali, a director at Mehta Equities.

India's Forward Markets Commission said it has halted futures trading for four months from today on soybean oil, rubber, chickpeas and potatoes. Some traders said the ban is nothing more than a political move that will do little to stop rising food prices.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam


, a telecommunications service provider in India, announced it plans to offer TV channels on mobile phones starting next month. "We have tied up with a technology partner, who is carrying out the field trials. We would provide 21 channels," said executive director J Gopal. American depositary shares of MTE, which trade on the


, finished down 1% to $5.07.

Indian information technology service provider

Patni Computer Systems

(PTI) - Get Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc. Report

announced it will partner with global mobility company


for the development, enhancement and testing services of Schindler's double-deck elevator. The company said it will use its laboratory in Mumbai to create algorithms and to conduct simulations of the elevator lifts. Shares of Patni fell 2.2% to $12.65.

Indian banking giant

Icici Bank

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is looking to get government approval for a foreign equity infusion into the company's investment banking arm Icici Securities, according to

. According to sources close to the situation, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) may consider the proposal at a meeting on Friday. Icici Bank plans to sell a 15% stake in Icici Securities and will list the shares on the stock exchange in six months. Shares of Icici fell 2.7% to $43.06.

One of the few noticeable gainers in the Indian ADR complex Thursday was

Sterlite Industries

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, which rose 1.9% to $20.93.

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 traded mixed Thursday with shares in Hong Kong dropping for the second straight day and shares in mainland China advancing off bargain-hunting. Dealers said market players in Hong Kong are worried that new U.S. disclosure requirements for financial companies could show more subprime losses for banks in the region.

"I wouldn't call this a trading consolidation because it's been too volatile," said Ben Collett, head of hedge fund trading at Daiwa Securities SMBC.

The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 77.69 points, or 2.2%, at 3,656.84, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed down 160.42 points, or 0.6%, at 25,449.79.

Mindray Medical International

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, a manufacturer and marketer of medical devices in China, soared 11% higher after the company reported more than 40% growth in sales for the fourth consecutive quarter. The company said first-quarter net revenue surged 48.2% to RMB626.0 million (US$89.3 million), vs. RMB422.2 million from the previous year. Net revenue from international markets in the first quarter jumped 49.4% and net revenue in China surged 46.9%. Mindray expects full-year 2008 net revenue to come in between the range of $560 million to $580 million, vs. Wall Street estimates of $454.88 million. American depositary shares of Mindray popped $4.15 to $39.55.

Susquehanna raised its price target for Chinese private educational services company

New Oriental Education & Technology

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to $85 from $77 and reiterated its positive rating on the shares, citing new revenue streams from the company's all-subject training. Shares of EDU rose 1.8% to $75.04.

Chinese digital media network operator

AirMedia Group


fell 6.6% after the company issued disappointing second-quarter revenue guidance. AirMedia announced its first-quarter net profit soared 289% year-over-year to $8.5 million and first-quarter revenues jumped 162% to $21.6 million, vs. $8.2 million from the previous year, due to strong results across all business segments. Revenues from digital frames in airports for the first-quarter surged 431% year-over-year to $6.7 million. The company forecasted total revenues for the second-quarter to come in between the range of $26 million to $28 million, vs. Wall Street estimates of $26.4 million. Shares of AMCN lost $1.35 to $18.90 on seven times average daily volume.

The Chinese telecom sector was in play Thursday after German rival

Deutsche Telekom

( DT) reported a 33% rise in first-quarter profits.

China Unicom

(CHU) - Get China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. Report

traded up 6.8% to $21.79;

China Telecom

(CHA) - Get China Telecom Corp. Ltd. Report

added 5.5% to $71.47;

China Netcom Group

(CN) - Get Xtrackers MSCI All China Equity ETF Report

rose 3.3% to $65.28; and

China Mobile

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finished up 2% to $84.87.

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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