The biggest Chinese exchange-traded fund in the U.S. is poised for its second weekly advance in February amid signs the recovery in the world’s two largest economies is gaining traction. Solar stocks rallied in New York on the outlook for global alternative energy demand.
The iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund was little changed at $40.20 by 12:10 p.m. in New York, set to gain 0.9 percent this week. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese equities in the U.S. was also steady at 96.46, with mainland markets in China closed this week for the New Year holiday. LDK Solar Co. surged 23 percent this week as polysilicon producer Wacker Chemie AG said that it’s boosting output as orders from solar companies exceed production.
Consumer confidence in the U.S., measured by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index, rose in February to a three-month high, and a measure of manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly expanded, data yesterday showed. In China, government reports this year have shown trade grew more than estimated in January and that the economy emerged from a seven-quarter slowdown at the end of 2012.
“Along with Chinese data, the U.S. is making some notable structural adjustments and the economies are more or less doing OK,” Erik Lam, director of Asian equity sales at Auerbach Grayson & Co. in New York, said by phone. “Things are going to do nicely this year.”
Tal Education Group, a Beijing-based company that runs tutoring services, posted the best performance on the China-US gauge yesterday, rising 4.5 percent to $9.67 and set for the highest close since Dec. 21. Ambow Education Holding Ltd., the education provider that sank to a record-low last week, rallied for a fifth day, gaining 2.8 percent to $1.64, an almost two- week high.
Youku Tudou Inc., owner of China’s most-used video websites, slid the most since Feb. 4, declining 3.1 percent to $21.83 in New York.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was little changed at 1520.66, poised for its seventh weekly advance, the longest stretch of gains since January 2011. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 0.2 percent to 11,845.20 yesterday, its second day of trading this week.
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