Updated from 5:38 p.m. EDTIndian stocks advanced Wednesday as technology majors continued to show momentum a day after information technology leader Infosys Technologies ( INFY) posted strong fourth-quarter earnings and provided a bullish full-year forecast. Dealers in the Far East said that investor sentiment is improving, backed by the strong follow-through performance in technology shares. Market players are becoming more confident that a tradable bottom is now in place for Indian equity markets as volatility subsides and the markets return to focusing on fundamentals. The Bombay Stock Exchange's benchmark 30-stock Sensex Index finished up 90.5 points, or 0.6%, at 16,244. Bangalore-based information technology company Wipro Limited ( WIT) announced it will be partnering with Credit Suisse in the design and operation of a human resource service center in Wroclaw, Poland. Under the terms of the agreement, Wipro will provide support to more than 20,000 Credit Suisse employees located in Switzerland, according to dnaindia.com. American depositary shares of Wipro, which trade on the NYSE, finished up 2.9% at $11.93. Indian technology ADRs continued to add to gains Wednesday as investors hoped for more bullish earnings reports out of the sector. Patni Computer Systems ( PTI) led the group, trading up 6.2% to $13.54; Infosys added 3% to $40.88; and Cognizant Technology Solutions ( CTSH) jumped 2.3% to $30. Leading Indian communications provider Tata Communications ( TCL) announced it has won two awards at the 2008 Nemertes Pilot House Awards, which was held during the FutureNet conference in Boston. Tata was recognized in two "emerging carrier" categories for best technology innovation: customer experience and MPLS services, according to a company press release Shares of Tata added 2.8% to $24.50. Among the big gainers for Indian ADRs Wednesday were HDFC Bank ( HDB), which jumped 5% to $103; Icici Bank ( IBN), which added 4.2% to $41.91; and Sterlite Industries ( SLT), which traded up 3.7% to $21. 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 natural gas behemoth Cnooc ( CEO) announced it has taken an 80% stake in private oil company Hangzhou Kangbo Petroleum, according to Xinhua News Agency. Hangzhou Kangbo operates three gasoline stations and an oil depot in east China's Zhejiang Province. "Cnooc plans to build 1,000 gasoline stations and oil depots in Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Bohai Rim by 2010," said Li Maolin, managing director of the company's refining and petrochemical unit. Shares of Cnooc rose 5.8% to $172. Elsewhere in the Chinese energy sector, Huaneng Power International ( HNP) said its first-quarter net profit will decrease by over 50% compared to the same period last year due to the sharp rise in thermal coal prices. China's largest electricity operator also said total power generation came in at 46.1 billion kilowatt-hours from January to March, which is an increase of over 18% over the same period last year. Shares of HNP dropped 3.5% to $26.53 on the news. Chinese Internet stocks were in play Wednesday as investors bid up shares ahead of Google's ( GOOG) earnings report set for Thursday. Market players are hoping a strong report out of Google will bode well for the entire global Internet complex. Sohu.com ( SOHU) ripped higher by 10% to $55.11; SINA ( SINA) jumped 10.2% to $39.81; and Baidu.com ( BIDU) surged 10% to $317.75. 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.