Indian stocks continued to drop dramatically Thursday, following a negative session on Wall Street the previous day. Investors are selling first and asking questions later as emerging markets continue to spiral to the downside across all of Asia.Market players in the region are worried that inflation data could come in hot on Friday and political instability could arise surrounding the U.S.-India nuclear energy accord. The Communist Party of India said it will continue to oppose the nuclear agreement with the U.S., which has been stalled since 2005. "Negative global cues coupled with inflation concerns and political uncertainty is a dangerous concoction for a market where sentiment is already weak. There is no clarity as to which way the market is headed, and given the scenario, traders chose to sell. I advise people to stay where they are until a clear trend emerges," said Hitesh Sheth of Prabhudas Lilladher. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Index lost 334.32 points, or 2.2%, to 15,051.66. Here's a look at how some India-based American depositary shares traded in the U.S. on Thursday. Indian banking ADRs came under selling pressure Thursday after U.S.-based bank Citigroup ( C) said it could take substantial writedowns in the second-quarter for subprime mortgages and other assets. American depositary shares of Icici Bank ( IBN), which trade on the NYSE, fell 2% to $35.57, and ADR shares of HDFC Bank ( HDB), which also trade on the NYSE, dropped around 1% to $83.46. Susquehanna Financial reiterated its positive rating on Cognizant Technology ( CTSH), a U.S.-based information technology company with large exposure to the Indian market, and raised its price target from $36 to $41. In a note to clients, the firm said Cognizant is likely to have been one of three vendors picked for the technology integration of JPMorgan ( JPM) and Bear Stearns. Susquehanna also said the firm might have won a large contract from a large health-care provider located in New York. Shares of Cognizant rose 2.7% to $36.71.
Elsewhere in the Indian technology complex, Shares of Wipro ( WIT) traded up 2.9% to $13.48; Satyam Computer ( SAY) rose 2.2% to $26.76; and Infosys Technologies ( INFY) finished up 2% to $46.36. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam ( MTE), an Indian fixed-line and wireless telecommunications provider, announced it has inked a licensing agreement with the department of telecom, which would allow the company to control its own international long distance traffic. The license will allow the company to lower international rates as it carries its own traffic. Shares of Mahanagar Telephone traded up 3.5% to $4.62. 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 the Financial Times, Spain-based Telefonica ( TEF) hopes to acquire a 10% stake in Chinese wireless company China Unicom ( CHU) to capitalize on the reorganization of the state-run telecommunication sector. Telefonica already controls a 7.2% stake in Chinese fixed-line carrier China Netcom ( CN), which is set to be acquired by China Unicom under the reorganization plan. American depositary shares of China Unicom, which trade on the NYSE, moved lower by 2.3% to $18.97, and ADR shares of Telefonica dropped 1% to $80.39. Chinese oil refiner ADRs soared in U.S. trading after news broke that the Chinese government will hike the price of gasoline and diesel fuel by at least 17% in an effort to slow down the country's growing appetite for energy. China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP) surged 7.9% to $112.64; PetroChina ( PTR) rose 4.4% to $140.49; and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical ( SHI) added 2.9% to $42.03. The government fuel-price hike announcement overshadowed Goldman Sachs' price target cut of PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical. Goldman said refining losses for both companies will expand due to surging global oil prices. The investment bank cut its price target on China Petroleum by 15% and for PetroChina by 4.7%. China Eastern Airlines ( CEA) and China Southern Airlines ( ZNH) announced they will operate weekend chartered flights to Taiwan. China Eastern said it will offer three round-trip flights from Shanghai and one from Nanjing to Taipei every week. China Southern said it will sign a strategic partnership with Taiwan-based China Airlines and offer flights across the Taiwan Strait. Shares of China Eastern dove 3.9% to $33.25, and shares of China Southern lost 3.1% to $23.42.
Some of the big movers among Chinese ADRs and China-based stocks Thursday came from Giant Interactive ( GA), which blasted up 8.7% to $14.08; Asia Time ( TYM), which jumped 9% to $5.08; Agria ( GRO), which moved up 6.3% to $6.70; and China Digital TV ( STV), which tacked on 5.4% to $15.08. 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.