Stocks in India crashed Wednesday after the government announced it will raise fuel prices due to the skyrocketing costs of crude oil. Oil Minister Muril Deora said diesel prices will rise by 9% and families will see an additional 17% hike in the price of a cylinder of cooking gas. The rise in diesel prices was initiated to help offset losses at state-controlled oil refiners."The markets reacted badly to the oil price hike, which might lead to inflation inching towards 9% and a possible rise in interest rates," said Manish Sonthalia, vice president for equity strategy at Motilal Oswal Financial Services. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index slipped 447.77 points, or 2.81%, to 15,514.79. Here's a look at how some India-based American depositary shares traded in the U.S. on Wednesday. Indian information technology and consulting company Infosys Technologies ( INFY) announced it has inked an agreement to create a research center for advanced software technologies at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering. Under the terms of the agreement, Infosys and USC will conduct joint research in areas like software architecture, service oriented architecture and information integration, intelligent systems and agents, mobile wireless systems, sensor networks and CAD frameworks and tools for hardware and software. American depositary shares of Infosys, which trade on the Nasdaq, finished essentially flat at $46.69. WNS Holdings ( WNS), an Indian business process outsourcing service provider, announced it has appointed Steve Reynolds to a newly created position as managing director of North America. Reynolds, a 20-year industry veteran, will be in charge of driving revenue and sales growth and expanding markets in North America. Shares of WNS finished up 1% to $18.06.
Bangalore-based information technology leader Wipro Limited ( WIT) announced it has started Eco Eye, a corporate-wide program to help increase ecological sustainability throughout all of its operations. As part of the program, Wipro will work towards carbon neutrality, water balance waste management and bio-diversity. Shares of Wipro fell 1.7% to $13.74. Some of the few Indian ADRs to trade to the plus side Wednesday were Rediff.com ( REDF), which advanced 1.5% to $7.46, and Patni Computer Systems ( PTI), which tacked on 1.1% to $12.90. 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 telecommunications complex, China Unicom ( CHU) fell 3.7% to $19.12, China Netcom Group ( CN) dropped 2.5% to $57.82, and China Mobile ( CHL) finished essentially flat at $72.67. Shares of China's third-largest coal producer Yanzhou Coal Mining ( YZC) plunged 10% after the Shandong government announced it will implement temporary price cuts on coal supplied to power generators. Following the news, the company announced it will raise some of its sport coal prices for other industries by $7.21 to $14.42 per ton. Shares of Yanzhou lost $10.99 to $96.72. Shares of Hong Kong-based China Natural Resource ( CHNR), a Chinese mining company, dove 9.3% after the company reported disappointing full-year results for 2007 due to falling zinc prices. The company said net income for 2007 came in at RMB23.7 million, or RMB1.86 a share, vs. RMB72.5 million, or RMB6.36 a share, from a year earlier, and revenues were RMB126 million, vs. RMB145.4 million from a year ago. Shares of China Natural lost $1.97 to $19.06 on above-average daily volume. China's Yucheng Technologies ( YTEC), an information technology service provider to the Chinese banking industry, announced it has won a large contract with China Construction Bank to provide its next-generation credit management information system. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed. Shares of Yucheng rose 2.57% to $12.36. Some notable losses were seen among Chinese ADRs and China-based stocks on Wednesday, led by Yingli Green Energy ( YGE), which slipped 6.6% to $18.97; VisionChina Media ( VISN), which dove 6.5% to $17.60; Xinyuan Real Estate ( XIN), which lost 6.5% to $8.09; and China Finance Online ( JRJC), which moved down 5.6% to $21.86. 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.