Rare-earth shares surge following leader's visit

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/21 21:30:08

Shares in rare-earth companies led a broader rally in Chinese mainland stocks on Tuesday as the market responded to news of a visit by China's top leader to a major rare-earth producer in East China's Jiangxi Province. 

"The visit shows the government's emphasis on the rare-earth market. It also triggered market expectations for policies to boost the industry," Wu Chenhui, an independent rare-earth analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Overall, the rare-earth sector rose by 8.5 percent as of close time, and 10 stocks in the sector rose by the daily trading limit of 10 percent. There are about 30 rare earth shares listed on the two bourses. 

By 15:00 pm, the Shanghai Composite Index rose by 1.23 percent, while the Shenzhen market rose by 1.92 percent. 

JL MAG Rare-Earth Co, the company visited by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, specializes in the research and development of rare-earth permanent magnetic materials in Ganzhou, Jiangxi. Its shares rose by the trading limit of 10 percent on Tuesday to 28.56 yuan ($4.13). 

JL MAG's share price also touched the trading ceiling on Monday. 

China Northern Rare Earth Group, based in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, rose by the daily limit to 12.76 yuan per share. 

Hong Kong-listed China Rare Earth Holdings saw its shares rise by 108.11 percent on Tuesday. 

Wu said that China has cut rare-earth imports from Myanmar, and the decreasing supply has meant a rise in prices, which is driving relevant shares up. 

At a time when China and the US are engaged in trade and technology battles, some have suggested that China can use rare earths as leverage in the trade war, limiting exports to the US. 

Wu agreed that rare earths could be used for leverage in trade talks, as the US is reliant upon China for importing and processing rare-earth minerals, which are important elements in making defense products such as tank night vision goggles and aviation gyroscopes.

Yang Delong, chief economist at the Shenzhen-based First Seafront Fund Management Co, told the Global Times that the government is gradually raising the prices of domestic rare earths, which were relatively low in the past, by controlling the general supply with means such as state stockpiling. This is bringing benefits to companies in the industry.  

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