Asian shares rose in early trading on Friday after economic data suggested the global economy is expanding, which took the edge off persistent fears of the US Federal Reserve's likely withdrawal of stimulus. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.2 percent, moving away from a six-week low touched on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei stock average gained 2.0 percent.
US stocks closed higher on Thursday in a trading session marred by a historic trading halt of roughly three hours on the Nasdaq stock exchange as a result of technical problems. All traffic through Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, the second-largest U.S. stock exchange stopped at 12:14 p.m. (1614 GMT), the exchange said on its website. Shares in Nasdaq closed down 3.4 percent to $30.46.
The dollar edged higher versus the yen on Friday, with some traders speculating that the dollar could attract demand from Japanese importers.
India's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank increased its base rate, the minimum benchmark rate below which a bank is not allowed to lend, by 25 basis points to 10 percent with effect from August 23, 2013. This move will make auto, home and corporate loans costlier as far as ICICI Bank is concerned. Earlier in the month, the second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank had hiked its base rate by 20 bps to 9.80 percent.
Reliance Industries, which holds pan-India 4G telecom spectrum for data services, has applied for a licence to offer mobile telephony.
Not only has the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) followed the lead of central electricity regulator CERC by setting up a panel to look into a tariff hike for Adani Power’s Tiroda plant, it has also provided major relief to the company, by allowing it to charge an extra 57.4 paise per unit in the interim period for power generated from units 2 and 3, totalling 800 MW, of the plant in the state’s Gondia district.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that the foreign direct investment limit in news channels and FM radio services be raised from 26% to 49%, subject to clearance by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
The collapse of the rupee is derailing India's hopes of raising more than $6 billion from the sale of stakes in state-run firms, jeopardising a key plank of Finance Minister P.Chidambaram's blueprint to reverse the country's economic malaise.
India and Indonesia could see their credit ratings lowered if their governments fail to halt the current slump in investor confidence towards the countries, Fitch ratings said on Thursday
India's monsoon rains are expected to be above average again next week over eastern areas that grow rice, weather officials said on Thursday, helping farmers speed up sowing and possibly plant a greater acreage than usual.