NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Global indices, with the exception of Brazil, closed last week on a more positive note. Brazil's Bovespa ended 0.3% lower on concerns regarding the country's central bank lowering interest rates. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.4% -- the highest among all the emerging market indices -- as the preliminary reading for China's manufacturing PMI increased to 49.8 for August from 49.3 in July. India's Nifty shed 0.3%.The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones accumulated 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively. During the past week, the U.S. Commerce Department reported 4% increase in durable-goods orders, surpassing market estimates. Also, U.S. home prices for July were up 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis. Meanwhile, investors eagerly await Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's keynote speech, anticipating further stimulus to boost the sluggish economy. For the week ended Aug. 17, according to data compiled by international fund-tracking firm EPFR, emerging market local currency bond funds attracted inflows of $273 million as compared to $109 million in the previous week. Meanwhile, emerging market equity funds recorded outflows of $2.8 billion for the week, while developed market equity funds faced $1.2 billion in outflows. As of Aug. 17, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has dropped 13.5% so far this year, while the MSCI World index has slipped 10.3%. Besides, of the 57 emerging and developed market regional indices, 17 of the worst performing 20 are emerging markets, year-to-date. Despite the gloom, a Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey last week showed that emerging markets is the only overweight region for global investors. On the concerns of global growth, the various measures taken by the central bank of India to curb price increases would lead to a slowdown in demand which could impact corporate earnings. Cognizant Technology Solutions ( CTSH) topped the list of gainers last week, up 8.7%. The U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA) has selected Cognizant to be its key supplier for a comprehensive range of services, as part of its Strategic Outsourcing Framework Agreement. CTSH will support and develop operational and regulatory systems to support the FSA to boost efficiencies and responsiveness and improve market surveillance.
At close last week, Rediff.com India ( REDF) and Patni Computer Systems ( PTI) rose 2.9% and 2.4%, respectively, while iGATE ( IGTE) gained 1.2%. Tata Communications ( TCL) rose 0.6% on reports the company has received the Telecom Commission's approval to demerge its 311.61 hectares Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) plot into a realty company. The commission proposed to take a slightly more than 51% stake in a special-purpose vehicle that will hold the divested land reserves of VSNL -- the public sector enterprise catering to overseas communication. Also, TCL announced last week it is ramping up its global network to offer telepresence and Ethernet services for developing industry-specific service packages. At the helm of losers was WNS (Holdings) ( WNS), declining 5.2%. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam ( MTE) followed, dropping 4.7% at close last week. During the course of last week, the state-owned telecom major raised $108.3 million from various banks to repay debts. Tata Motors ( TTM) declined 4.3% last week. Banking stocks HDFC Bank ( HDB) and ICICI Bank ( IBN) dipped 3.3% and 3.0%, respectively. Banks extended losses on the concern that rising interest rates could restrict loan growth. Sify Technologies ( SIFY) fell 3.2%. Brazil's Bovespa closed 0.3% lower last week as investors resorted to profit taking. Airline stocks TAM ( TAM) and Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes ( GOL) were among the gainers, up 9.7% and 7.8%, respectively. Among the losers, TIM Participacoes ( TSU) and Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo-SABESP ( SBS) shed 7.2% and 5.0%, respectively. It was known last week that the Brazilian government may introduce a flexible system of royalties for the mining sector, as part of a new set of regulations for the sector. The government is likely to charge royalties linked to metal prices. Basic material stocks like Gerdau ( GGB) and Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) ( SID) added 3.8% and 2.5%, respectively. CSN announced last week that it is planning to raise $718 million via non-convertible debentures to finance its working capital. Brazil's utility stocks were major losers last week. Companhia Paranaense de Energia-COPEL ( ELP) and CPFL Energia ( CPL) topped, paring 6.3% and 3.5%, respectively. Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ( EBR) erased 2.5%. Last week, EBR reported second-quarter 2011 net profit of $203.7 million, decreasing 65.4% from the prior-year quarter, flattened by lower revenue and rising costs. For the quarter, the company reported revenue of BRL 5.7 billion, down 11.6%.
Financial stocks Itau Unibanco Holding ( ITUB) and Banco Bradesco ( BBD) dropped 3.8% and 0.7%, respectively, as the country's central bank is considering lowering interest rates over the growing anxiety of slowing global economic growth. Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) ( PBR) lost 1.8% after reporting 3.8% dip in its July domestic oil output from June. Moreover, the company's total output, including outside of Brazil, fell 2.8% to 2.57 million barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent a day in July, vs. figures reported for June. On the Shanghai Index, agriculture stock Agria ( GRO) emerged top gainer, gaining 45.6%. Last week, the company appointed Wah Kwong Tsang to its board of directors. Perfect World ( PWRD) followed in the list of advancers' with a gain of 22.3% at close last week. For second quarter 2011, the company reported net profit of $49.6 million, growing 61% from the year-ago quarter. For the quarter, PWRD's operating revenue increased to $122.04 million from $92.7 million in the same quarter prior year. For the third quarter, the company expects revenue to range from $118.3 to $125.7 million, rising 15% to 22% from the year-ago quarter. Shanda Games ( GAME) gained 16% after reporting 18.7% increase in net operating revenue to $204 million. GAAP net profit remained relatively flat at $47.2 million. Favorable earnings pushed China Telecom ( CHA) 12% higher. For the first half of 2011, the company reported 11.7% increase in operating revenue to $18.8 billion. Net income increased 10.2% for the same period. LJ International ( JADE) rose 10.8% after recording 26% year-over-year increase in its operating revenue to $41.6 million. Net income for the period surged 67% to $3.85 million. For third quarter 2011, the company estimates year-over-year revenue increase of 19% to 25%. China's internet stocks were the other movers -- Sohu.com ( SOHU) rose 3.6%, Baidu ( BIDU) gained 3.45, while Netease.com ( NTSE) advanced 2.8%. Heading the losers' list was Fuwei Films (Holdings) ( FFHL), sliding 21.2%. Orsus Xelent Technologies ( ORS) followed plunging 16.6% after recording sales growth of 28.3% to $4.64 million. The company's net loss widened to $2.88 million from $248,000 in the year-ago quarter. KU6 Media ( KUTV) erased 14.5% last week. Higher operating expenses amplified the company's loss during the second quarter. Net loss grew to $$21.58 million from $12.36 million in the same quarter prior year. Total operating expenses soared 88.6% for the same period.
Yanzhou Coal Mining ( YZC) declined 13.3% after Standard Chartered downgraded the stock to in-line from outperform, and cut its price target to HK$33.58 ($4.31) from HK$21.22 ($2.72) earlier. LDK Solar ( LDK) shed 9.3%. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its noninvestment-grade "B+" corporate credit rating for LDK Solar under review for possible downgrade after the solar products company cut its financial outlook for the second quarter and full year. After a downgrade from Ardour Capital to sell from hold, Suntech Power Holdings ( STP) dropped 9.3% last week.