Solar stocks led gains among Chinese equities in New York on prospects expanding global demand for alternative energy will ignite sales.
The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese shares in the U.S. added 0.2 percent to 96.33 yesterday. LDK Solar Co., the world’s second-largest maker of wafers used to make solar cells, jumped 13 percent and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. surged to the highest level since May. NQ Mobile Inc., an Internet security company in Beijing, rose to a three-month high while container ship operator Seaspan Corp. dropped the most in three months.
Global solar capacity increased beyond 100 gigawatts in 2012, when Germany was the largest solar market with 7.6 gigawatts of new installations, according to a report by Bloomberg Industries. Wacker Chemie AG, a Munich-based polysilicon producer, said Feb. 11 that it’s boosting output as orders from solar makers exceed production. China, the world’s biggest supplier of solar modules, has provided subsidies and assistance to manufacturers amid a global supply glut.
“This is a positive sign of a better balance between supply and demand,” James Kelleher, a director at Argus Research in New York, said by phone. “The stock market is always driven by anticipatory impulse and it’ll be a long time before we get to a point where prices are sufficiently high and demand is sufficiently good to support profitability for these companies.”
The iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund, the biggest Chinese exchange-traded fund in the U.S., climbed 0.2 percent to $39.83 in New York, rebounding 0.8 percent from this year’s low on Feb. 7. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 percent to 1,519.43.
LDK’s American depositary receipts surged 13 percent to $1.82, the steepest one-day advance since Jan. 3.
Baoding, China-based Yingli, the world’s biggest silicon-based solar panel maker by capacity, surged 7.1 percent to $3.49, the highest level since May 14. Suntech Power Holdings Co., the biggest solar-panel maker globally, climbed 4.6 percent to $1.59 and Trina Solar Ltd., based in Changzhou in Jiangsu province, advanced 3.9 percent to $5.37, the most this month.
Polysilicon prices rose above $16 per kilogram last week for the first time in three months, according to Bloomberg Industries. Growing demand for solar-energy systems helps drive up prices, solar research company PV Insights said on its website Feb. 6. Solar cell prices climbed 0.9 percent from the previous week and module prices were 0.2 percent higher, the company said.
NQ Mobile soared 7.6 percent to a three-month high of $6.92 in New York. Trading volume on its ADRs was 1.7 times the daily average over the past three months, data compiled by Bloomberg show. 51Job Inc., an online recruiting company based in Shanghai, advanced 2.8 percent in its third day of gains to $57.05, the highest close since May 8. The company’s shares have rallied 22 percent this year.
“Sentiment toward China seems to remain solidly favorable so far this year,” Alan Wang, a Hong Kong-based portfolio manager at Principal Global Investors, which manages $281.5 billion including Chinese stocks, said by e-mail yesterday. “The fund inflows have been at very strong levels recently, for China equities, Asian equities and global emerging markets equities in general.”
Seaspan, a Hong Kong-based shipping company, slumped 2.4 percent to $19.2 in New York in its fourth day of declines, the biggest retreat in three months. Trading volume on its shares reached 1.9 times the three-month average, Bloomberg data show.
Container ship rates have fallen 15.4 percent since a June 5 peak and are 9 percent lower from a year earlier, Bloomberg Industries analyst Lee Klaskow said yesterday, adding that rates will continue to decline should the container shipping market remain above capacity.
Hong Kong’s stock market is closed until today for the Chinese New Year holiday, while trading in Shanghai will resume Feb. 18. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index slumped 4.6 percent last week, while the Shanghai Composite Index of domestic Chinese shares added 0.6 percent in a second straight week of gains.