Updated from 6:36 p.m. EDTIndian markets shook off early weakness and finished higher Wednesday led by a strong earnings report out of regional banking player YES Bank. Yes Bank reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter numbers and said the bank had no marked-to-market derivative exposure risk on its balance sheet. Dealers in the region said short-sellers scrambled to cover bearish bets on the Indian equity market inspired by hopes that many Indian banks could be exposed to significant derivative risk. The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index rose 202.89 points, or 1.3%, to 15,829.59. Leading Indian automaker Tata Motors ( TTM) announced it plans to set up a manufacturing center for trucks and buses in South Africa in an effort to expand into more global markets. The new plant will be located in Rossllyn, South Africa, according to managing director Ravi Kant. American depositary shares of Tata Motors closed down 1.5% at $15.44. Elsewhere, in the Indian technology sector, Senators Dick Durbin (Democrat-Illinois) and Chuck Grassley (Republican-Iowa) have written a letter to 25 H1-B visa users, which included nine Indian technology companies, seeking information on how these firms determine the requirements for high-tech workers when issuing the visas. Among the Indian companies that received the letter were Wipro ( WIT), Infosys ( INFY), Satyam Computer ( SAY), Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant Tech Solutions ( CTSH), Patni Computer Systems ( PTI), I-Flex Solutions, Larson & Toubro Infotech and Mphasis Corporation. Each of the above-mentioned U.S. publicly traded stocks ended at least 2.5% lower Wednesday, save for Patni, which ended its NYSE trading session flat. "We need to ensure that firms are not misusing these visas, causing American workers to be unfairly deprived of good high-skill jobs here at home," the Senators said in the letter sent April 1. 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.
Chinese oil and gas majors PetroChina ( PTR) and Cnooc ( CEO) are reportedly close to inking a deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar to meet rising domestic demand, according to Bloomberg. PetroChina has also asked Chevron ( CVX) to begin producing natural gas in southwestern China in 2009, as part of a deal singed last year, according to the company's Web Site. Shares of PTR fell 4.3% to $130.90 and shares of CEO closed lower by 3.8% at $152.78. Leading the losers list among Chinese ADRs Wednesday were Agria ( GRO), which fell 11% to $4.85; China Eastern Airlines ( CEA), which dropped 7% to $44.50; China Finance Online ( JRJC), which shed 6.2% to $15.10; and Guangshen Railway ( GSH), which closed down 6.1% to $25.91. 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 at TheStreet.com.