Updated from 6:28 p.m. EDTIndian 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, Icici Bank ( IBN) is reportedly in talks with Moscow Bank of Reconstruction and Development for a partnership to sell mortgage loan products in Russia, according to TheHinduBusinessLine.com. "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, Tata Communications , which lost 4.7% to $23.45, and HDFC bank ( HDB), 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.
Elsewhere in the Chinese oil and gas sector, Cnooc ( CEO) said it will offer 17 offshore blocks for joint oil exploration with foreign companies in 2008, according to the company Web Site. The exploration blocks will consist of 13 located in eastern South China Sea and four in the western area of the same sea. Shares of Cnooc ripped higher by 4.2% to $159.28 Both PetroChina and Cnooc also announced they have inked a long-term supply agreement for liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar. Chinese online gaming company Perfect World ( PWRD) jumped 5.4% Thursday after a Piper Jaffray analyst reiterated his buy rating and $35 price target for the stock, citing the company's decision to allow customers to play a online game for free as a growth driver. Shares of Perfect World rose by $1.34 to $26.69. Some big losers among the Chinese ADRs Thursday were WuXi PharmaTech ( WX), which lost 10% to $18.80; PacificNet ( PACT), which fell 8% to $1.36; and Suntech Power ( STP), which dropped 5.8% to $46.19. 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.