Indian shares closed on an up note Friday after government data showed the nation's GDP grew by 9% in 2007-08, second only to fast-growing China. Analysts said the high GDP growth was due to a strong performance in the country's agriculture sector. However, stock gains were kept in check after inflation data represented by the wholesale price index (WPI) jumped to a four-year high at 8.1% for the weekend ending on May 17, vs. 7.82% from the previous week. "Nobody has drawn any great satisfaction at 8.1% inflation -- 8.1% is a worrisome inflation. But the measures we have taken have contained inflation. We are confident that we will gain mastery over this inflation and inflation will be contained over time," Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said. "However, moderation in inflation depends on global crude oil and commodity prices," he said. "Surely, we are still in full control over the situation." The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index climbed 99.31 points, or 0.6%, to 16,415.57. Here's a look at how some India-based American depositary shares traded in the U.S. Friday. Indian technology stocks were in play Friday after J.P. Morgan raised its price targets for the five biggest software companies, citing a better earnings environment due to a depressed rupee and changes to tax laws. J.P. Morgan raised its end-of-year price target for Tata Consultancy Services by 24% and for Infosys Technologies ( INFY), it bumped its price target by 27%. American depositary shares of Infosys, which trade on the Nasdaq, soared 8.2% to $49.11 on heavy volume.
J.P. Morgan also raised its price targets on Wipro ( WIT), Satyam Computer ( SAY) and HCL Technologies. Shares of Wipro jumped 2.3% to $14.16, and Satyam advanced 5.7% to $29.10. Indian pharmaceutical giant Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ( RDY) has been granted tentative approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its generic version of Prilosec, according to the FDA's Web site. Shares of Reddy's moved up 2% to $16.27 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.
According to MarbridgeConsulting.com, China's leading search engine Baidu.com ( BIDU) is rumored to be near releasing its second beta test of Baidu Hi, the company's instant messaging client. Some of the new features that the beta version is rumored to have are integration with the TTPlayer music player, automatically adding people with similar interests to a users' buddy list, integration with other Baidu products and group voting. Shares of Baidu.com finished essentially flat at $345.06. Chinese alternative energy company Yingli Green Energy ( YGE) announced it reached an agreement for a sales contract with Germany's S.A.G. Solarstrom AG. Under terms of the deal, Yingli will supply 5.75 megawatts of solar modules to S.A.G. for use in its projects in Italy and the contract will last from June 2008 to September 2008. Shares of Yingli rose 3.2% to $20.58. Elsewhere in the Chinese alternative energy complex, Solarfun Power Holdings ( SOLF) surged 13% to $22.80; LDK Solar ( JASO) tacked on 8% to $46.05; ReneSola ( SOL) added 6.9% to $25.08; and Canadian Solar ( CSIQ) closed up 5% to $39.71. Tongjitang Chinese Medicine ( TCM), a specialty pharmaceutical company, announced its first-quarter net revenue fell by 29% due to a sharp drop-off in sales for its moisturizing and anti-itching capsules. Tongjitang also said first-quarter net income was impacted by severe snowstorms that hit central and southern China. Net revenue came in at RMB105.8 million ($15.1 million), vs. RMB148.3 million a year earlier and net income was RMB11.9 million, vs. RMB47.29 million a year ago. Excluding share-based compensation expenses, net income would have been RMB21.2 million for the first quarter of 2008. Shares of Tongjitang added 1.5% to $8.95. 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.