Updated from 5:49 p.m. EDTIndian stocks recovered from early losses Wednesday, finishing in the green with technology exporters taking the lead after the rupee hit a 13-month low against the dollar. The rupee accelerated its decline after Merrill Lynch lowered its forecast for the currency, citing rising inflation and unwillingness from the Indian Central bank to tighten more aggressively. "With the rupee's decline, the outlook for the software industry is positive," said Sandeep Sabharwal, chief investment officer at J.M. Financial Mutual Fund. Traders said investor sentiment was also boosted after the terrorist attack that hit the city of Jaipur the previous day failed to take the market down. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index closed higher by 225 points, or 1.4%, at 16,978. Indian automaker Tata Motor ( TTM) said it will consider exporting the Rs 1-lakh car to any market that looks promising, including the U.S. "There is nothing that we cannot export Nano to any country. Tata Motors also has plans for exports. But the Tata Nano will be initially marketed in India," said a company representative. American depositary shares of Tata Motors, which trade on the NYSE, finished essentially flat at $16.04. According to indiaoutsourcewatch.com, Indian information technology company Patni Computer Systems ( PTI - Get Report) is in advanced talks to receive a $50 million IT contract from a large telecom company in India. The contract is rumored to be for Telecom-in-a-Box, a service that helps telecom providers offer services like multimedia content and IPTV to subscribers. Shares of Patni added 3.7% to $13.18. Indian technology ADRs put in a strong showing Wednesday as investors bid up shares off the weakness in the rupee. Leading the group was Infosys Technologies ( INFY), which rose 3% to $44.33; Wipro Limited ( WIT), which jumped 2.6% to $13.38; and Cognizant Technology Solutions ( CTSH), which closed up 2.3% at $30.63.
Fitch Ratings announced it has affirmed the AAA rating for HDFC Bank's ( HDB) assignment of loan receivables portfolio. The portfolio is made up of loans for cars, commercial vehicles and two-wheelers. Shares of HDFC finished down 0.5% to $106.07. 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 solar sector, ReneSola ( SOL - Get Report) jumped 3% after it reported a 242% surge in first-quarter net revenue and raised its 2008 revenue outlook, due to increased production. The company said first-quarter net revenue was $123 million, vs. $35.9 million in the first quarter of 2007 and first-quarter net income soared 160% to $17.7 million, vs. $6.8 million in the first quarter of 2007. Looking ahead, the solar-panel maker raised its 2008 revenue target to a range of $570 million to $590 million, vs. its previous guidance of $530 million to $550 million. ReneSola also announced it inked a six-year, 525-megawatt wafer supply contract with Taiwan-based solar cell maker Gintech Energy. Following the solar company's strong earnings report, Piper Jaffray raised its price target from $25 to $40 and reiterated a buy rating on the stock. Shares of ReneSola finished up 63 cents at $22.30. China-based economy hotel chain, Home Inns & Hotels Management ( HMIN), announced its first-quarter revenue soared 95% to $50.9 million, with $40 million in revenue coming from the recently acquired Top Star hotel chain. The company forecasted for second-quarter revenue of $62.8 million to $65.7 million, vs. Wall Street estimates of $60.42 million. Shares of HMIN advanced 5.9% to $25 on heavy volume. China Automotive Systems ( CAAS - Get Report), a supplier of power-steering components, soared 25% after the company said first-quarter net income rose 46% to $41.5 million and net income surged 170% to $4.4 million, due to strong sales of steering components for passenger vehicles, light duty vehicles and commercial vehicles. Shares of CAAS traded up $1.37 to $6.85 on extremely heavy volume. Chinese specialty pharmaceutical company Tongjitang Chinese Medicines ( TCM) announced it has temporarily halted production of its XLGB product after the company's water piping system at its Guiyang facility was damaged from the recent earthquake. Shares of TCM fell 4.7% to $7.98. 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.