Stocks in India finished essentially unchanged Wednesday as investors remained on the sidelines in the face of record crude oil prices and weak global cues. Traders said fear is rising among market participants that India's government is underestimating the true inflation numbers by not accounting for oil subsidies."The market is stuck in a broad range. The Sensex is oscillating between 16,500 and 18,000. Stock-specific movement is expected to continue," said Sandeep Wagle, chief technical analyst at Angel Broking. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index rose 12.98 points, or 0.1%, to 17,243.16. Here's a look at how some India-based American depositary shares traded in the U.S. Wednesday. Indian federal bond yields hit three-week highs on Wednesday as concerns mounted among investors that higher inflation readings will force the central bank to raise interest rates. "Inflation rate, which is at its highest in three-and-a-half years, is totally unacceptable," said RBI governor Yaga Venugopal Reddy during a speech. Satyam Computer Services ( SAY), a leading Indian information technology company, has teamed with Siemens PLM Software, a unit of Siemens AG ( SI) that provides product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, announced a partnership to provide customers with optimized PLM software and services. American depositary shares of Satyam Computer, which trade on the NYSE, finished off by 1.4% at $25.60, and ADR shares of Germany-based Siemens dropped 2.2% to $115.13. Indian banking giant HDFC Bank ( HDB) said the central bank has approved its merger with Centurion Bank of Punjab for $2.4 billion. The combined entity will have a nationwide network of 1,167 branches and a total deposit base of 1.22 trillion rupees. Shares of HDB dropped 5.2% to $98.77.
Wipro ( WIT), a top information technology company based in India, announced it has entered into an agreement with SAP AG ( SAP) to provide support for SAP software solutions. Under the terms of the deal, Wipro will launch a so-called solutions lab at its Sarjapur location to help companies evaluate SAP software, build proof-of-concepts and leverage infrastructure to test solutions before making purchasing decisions through the use of Web 2.0 applications like blogs, Wikis and virtual worlds. Shares of Wipro closed lower by 2.1% to $12.97. India's leading automaker Tata Motors ( TTM) said its board will look into multiple ways to raise long-term capital at a company meeting scheduled for May 28. Shares of TTM fell 1.8% to $15.53. Among the few Indian ADRs, or stocks with exposure to India, to advance Wednesday were Syntel ( SYNT), which jumped 1.2% to $31.70; WNS Holdings ( WNS), which rose 1% to $17,58; and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ( RDY), which added 1% to $15.03. 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.
Shares in Hong Kong were also helped by a report from Credit Suisse that said it's raising its year-end target for the Hang Seng Index to 28,000, 11% higher than the previous day's closing price. However, Credit Suisse threw cold water on investors in mainland China, after the same report said the Shanghai Composite Index could fall to 2,710 by the end of the year, representing a fall of 25% from the previous close. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped higher by 101.03 points, or 2.9%, to 3,544.19, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 290.83 points, or 1.16%, at 25,460.29. Here's a look at how some China-based American depositary shares traded in the U.S. Wednesday. Shares of Chinese alternative energy company Solarfun Power Holdings ( SOLF) soared 5% higher after the company reported first-quarter revenue of $171.3 million, vs. Wall Street estimates of $136.45 million. Gross profit surged 502% to $28.2 million from the same quarter last year. The company said operating profit exploded 3,300% to $20.7 million from the same quarter last year and 56% from the fourth quarter of 2007. American depositary shares of Solarfun Power, which trade on the Nasdaq, added $1.26 to $26.50. Elsewhere in the Chinese solar complex, China Sunergy ( CSUN) received some positive comments from Jefferies & Co. analyst Paul Clegg, who upgraded the stock from underperform to hold and raised his price target from $6 to $12, citing strong sales trends for high-efficiency cells that helped boost margins. Despite the upgrade, shares of CSUN dropped 2.6% $12.39.
The windfall oil tax rumors and record high crude prices helped power shares of Chinese oil and gas ADRs higher Wednesday. Cnooc ( CEO) surged 5.5% to $203, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical ( SHI) climbed 2.7% to $38.40, and China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP) added 2% to $93.25. China Eastern Airlines ( CEA), the country's third-largest carrier, fell 5.3% after traders dumped shares over concerns that earthquake relief flights will impact the company's profits. The company has allocated more than 150 planes to help with relief efforts, cutting the seats available for generating profits. Shares of CEA lost $2.39 to $42.08. China-based stocks and local ADRs making big moves Wednesday were ATA ( ATAI), which surged 8.9% to $16.07; LDK Solar ( LDK), which climbed 7.7% to $44.27; Huaneng Power International ( HNP), which traded up by 4.8% to $31.15; and Giant Interactive Group ( GA), which finished up 3.8% to $13.97. 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.