Stocks in India dove Friday as selling pressure accelerated following the release of revised government inflation figures that disappointed Far East market players.Preliminary inflation data showed India's wholesale price index (WPI) rose 7.82% for the week ending on May 10 from a year ago, vs. 7.83% from a week earlier. However, the government upwardly revised inflation to 8% for March 15 from an earlier estimate of 6.68%. Analysts said the rising inflation figures are a direct result of record-high energy and commodity prices. "Inflation may hit double-digits in the next few months if oil prices and other commodity prices remain at current levels," said Robert Prior-Wandesforde, a senior economist at HSBC Holdings. "The pressure will intensify to raise the cash reserve ratio and repurchase rate." The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index lost 257 points, or 1.5%, to 16,649.64. Here's a look at how some India-based American depositary shares traded in the U.S. Friday. Shares of Rediff.com ( REDF), an India-based online provider of news, information and shopping services, plunged 10% after the company said fourth-quarter profits dropped 50%. The company said net income was $1 million, or 3 cents per American depositary share, vs. $2 million, or 7 cents a share, from a year ago. Revenue for the fourth quarter rose 7% to $9.1 million, vs. Wall Street estimates of $9.3 million and revenue for the full-year ending on March 31, 2008, jumped 13% to $32.25 million, vs. $28.68 million for the prior fiscal year. American depositary shares of Rediff, which trade on the Nasdaq, lost 86 cents to $7.65 on above-average trading volume.
According to finanicalexpress.com, Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Eduardo Escandell Amador is leading a 19-member delegation to India to meet with company executives at India's largest automaker Tata Motors ( TTM) to discuss bringing Tata's Nano and Maruti cars and its trucks and busses into Cuba for sale. Shares of Tata dropped 1.4% to $15.18. One Indian ADR to advance Friday was Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ( RDY). Shares of Dr. Reddy's climbed 2.8% to $16.01. 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.
The Chinese telecommunications sector was put in play Friday after the government kicked off its reorganization plan for the wireless industry by giving China Mobile ( CHL) control of fixed-line company China Tietong Telecommunications, according to Xinhua News Agency. American depositary shares of China Mobile, which trade on the NYSE, lost 5.8% to $78.34. Trading was suspended in Hong Kong and on the New York Stock Exchange for China Netcom Group ( CN), China Unicom ( CHU) and China Telecom ( CHA) pending the release of price-sensitive information. Prior to the suspension, shares of China Netcom and China Telecom soared 12%, while China Telecom popped 7% on speculation that smaller carriers will be able to increase profits after the reorganization. Piper Jaffray raised its price target on shares of ATA ( ATAI), a provider of computer-based testing services in China, from $17 to $24 and reiterated its buy rating, citing new labor laws that could open up the door for new business opportunities in China's Ministry of Health, Finance and Justice, and also in the insurance industry. Shares of ATA jumped 6.9% to $17.08. Jefferies & Co. raised its price target on Suntech Power ( STP) from $63 to $67 and bumped up its non-GAAP EPS estimates for 2008 to $1.65 from $1.59 and for 2009 to $2.69 from $2.51, citing the company's introduction of a new high-efficiency cell technology. The price hike follows Suntech's strong first-quarter earnings that easily exceeded Wall Street estimates yesterday. Shares of Suntech added 4% to $46.89. Yanzhou Coal Mining ( YZC), China's third-biggest coal producer, announced it has inked a coal supply deal with customer Huadian Power that would bump its 2008 revenue by $135 million. Under the terms of the deal, Yanzhou Coal will sell Huadian 52.1% more coal than it did last year at a 37.9% higher price. Shares of Yanzhou fell 5.7% to $105.35. 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.