LDK Leads Solar Rally as Baidu Extends Slump: China Overnight

Dec 26, 2013 5:04 pm ET

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- LDK Solar Co. led a rally in Chinese solar manufacturers in New York on prospects demand will increase in 2014. Baidu Inc. fell to the lowest in three weeks.

The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. slumped 0.3 percent to 104.26 at 12:05 p.m. as 30 stocks gained while 20 fell. LDK, the second- biggest maker of solar wafers, jumped to a two-week high while Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. surged the most in a week. Baidu declined for a third day after the Japanese government warned of security leaks through programs made by companies including the Chinese Internet company.

Average prices for polysilicon, the key raw material for making solar panels, rose to the highest level in 14 months in the past week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. China’s government solar energy plans indicate as much as 12 gigawatts of new capacity in 2014, and the Finance Ministry issued in November a policy encouraging solar power distribution. Demand for solar panels in Mexico will more than triple next year to 250 megawatts, GTM Research said last week.

“China, Japan and the U.S. will be the biggest solar buyers next year and there will be steady growth for the industry,” David Smith, the manager of the Gabelli Green Fund at Gamco Investors Inc., said by phone from Rye, New York. Next year “could be a defining year for solar because you’re starting to see significant amount of market adoption. Right now we are seeing great market demand, we are seeing costs come down.”

The iShares China Large-Cap ETF, the largest Chinese exchange-traded fund in the U.S., dropped 1 percent to $37.58 in New York, retreating the most in a week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.3 percent as data showed fewer Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week.

The Shanghai Composite Index slid 1.6 percent to 2,073.10, the lowest since August. The Hong Kong market was closed yesterday for the Christmas holiday.

--Editors: Marie-France Han, Rita Nazareth