(Bloomberg) — EVE Energy Co., a Chinese producer of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars to earphones, is considering plans to step up purchases of key metals amid signs prices could soon rise from recent lows.

Huizhou, Guangdong-based EVE, which has pacts with automakers including Daimler AG, has seen tentative signals of a recovery in lithium and cobalt prices in China, meaning there’d be an advantage to lock in additional supplies now, Chairman Liu Jincheng said in a phone interview.

“We are seriously considering whether we can buy more while they are cheap now,” Liu said, adding that forecasts on the price outlook remain difficult.



chart: Prices of some battery materials are steadying after long declines


© Bloomberg
Prices of some battery materials are steadying after long declines

The producer is weighing its metal purchasing plans as it seeks to expand output and narrow the gap on the world’s top battery makers. EVE Energy is the fifth largest supplier to China’s EV sector, with a 5% market share, trailing behind competitors including Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. and BYD Co., according to BloombergNEF data.

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Prices of lithium chemicals plunged from mid-2018 as producers rushed to deliver more supply, overwhelming the pace of demand gains. The materials have stabilized in recent months, though remain at about half the level of peak values, BNEF said in a report this month.

“We are expecting both Chinese domestic and seaborne lithium prices to stay flat for the next three months, and pick-up toward the end of Q4,” BNEF’s head of metals and mining Sophie Lu said by phone. Cobalt prices have recovered as Covid-19 disruptions impacted supply, and there’s potential for China’s domestic prices to rise, she said.

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Lithium prices are

Stocks closed near session highs on Wednesday as investors bet a stimulus plan, full or partial, will come together after President Trump dialed back plans to scrap the talks.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 28303.46 +530.70 +1.91%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 11364.598929 +210.00 +1.88%
SP500 S&P 500 3419.45 +58.50 +1.74%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up over 530 points or 1.9% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose over 1.7 and 1.8%, respectively.

Transportation stocks soared to a fresh record, as did consumer discretionary names, both would likely benefit from a stimulus deal.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XTN SPDR SERIES TRUST SPDR S TR/S&P TRANSN ETF 60.77 +1.42 +2.39%
XLY CONSUMER DISCRETIONARY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 150.82 +3.37 +2.29%

Trump reversed an earlier stance and signaled he would be willing to sign bills from Congress to support the economy.

He said he would sign a “stand alone bill” for another round of economic stimulus checks in the amount of $1,200. He also promised help for the battered airline industry in the form of $25 billion in relief and also touted releasing funds for small businesses from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Airlines In Focus

All the major airlines rallied as talk of a separate rescue package for the embattled group gains attention between House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 13.07 +0.54 +4.31%
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 32.15 +1.09 +3.51%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HLDG. 36.38 +1.50 +4.30%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 38.59 +1.01 +2.69%
JBLU JETBLUE AIRWAYS 12.29 +0.78 +6.78%

SOUTHWEST CEO PUSHING PAY CUTS

FOMC Warns On Lack

AirAsia Aircraft at Kuala Lumpur Airport Ahead of Earnings

Photographer: Samsul Said/Bloomberg

AirAsia X Bhd.’s restructuring plan was met with bleak forecasts and ratings from analysts as well as a 10% drop in its share price, underscoring the daunting challenges that lie ahead for the grounded carrier.

Public Investment Bank Bhd. maintained its underperform rating and 1 sen price target on the airline, the long-haul arm of AirAsia Group Bhd. Max Koh, an analyst at KAF Equities Sdn Bhd., kept his sell rating and 0.02 sen target, saying he was neutral on the restructuring proposals “given the grim outlook.” AirAsia X’s shares headed for their biggest loss since Aug. 3.

AirAsia, AirAsia X underperforming a gauge of Asia-Pacific airline stocks

The airline said Tuesday the plan, which it expects to complete by the end of next quarter, would wipe out almost 63.5 billion ringgit ($15.3 billion) in debt and save it from collapse as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on travel. The proposal requires approval from investors and creditors. Advance ticket payments will be converted into travel credits for customers.

AirAsia X said it hopes to begin operating with two aircraft in selected markets in the first quarter next year and gradually resume flights to all destinations by the end of 2021. The carrier said it would focus on flights within the five- to six-hour range and defer investment in new or immature routes.

Here’s what some analysts said about AirAsia X’s restructuring plan:

KAF’s Koh (Sell; target 0.02 sen)

  • This is a “hard reset” for AirAsia X to remain a going concern
  • Neutral on plans to operate with a leaner and lower cost structure and 500-million ringgit fundraising exercise as the airline will need approvals from creditors and shareholders to succeed
  • The aviation industry’s outlook is grim due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Fresh equity injection from shareholders should accompany AirAsia X

By Olga Cotaga

LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters)The dollar was on the defensive against most currencies on Tuesday as rising optimism that U.S. lawmakers could agree on new stimulus to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus dampened demand for safer assets.

Risk appetite also improved after U.S. President Donald Trump left hospital and returned to the White House following treatment for COVID-19, a development viewed as reducing political uncertainties in the near term.

The lead taken by Trump’s presidential opponent Joe Biden in electoral polls ahead of next month’s election is also seen as negative for the U.S. currency.

“The increasing possibility of a “blue wave” (Democrat control of the White House and Congress) that would open the door for much-needed fiscal stimulus would be a welcome development for risk assets and could undermine the U.S. dollar,” said Lee Hardman, currency analyst at MUFG.

An index which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies was down slightly at 93.39 =USD. It has fallen 1.2% from a two-month high reached at the end of September, in contrast with U.S. equity markets, which rose.

Euro/dollar was trading up 0.1% at 1.1792 EUR=EBS.

The British pound also rose 0.1%, to $1.2991 GBP=D3, with hopes that a Brexit deal can be reached pushing the currency towards $1.30.

The dollar was 0.1% weaker versus the Japanese yen at 105.65 JPY=EBS.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone for about an hour on Monday on coronavirus economic relief and were preparing to talk again on Tuesday, continuing their recent flurry of activity working towards a deal on legislation.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said there was still potential for an agreement among lawmakers in Washington on more economic relief,