Dow Jones Newswires: Chinese electric-car makers rise amid signs of improving sales

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Shares of Chinese electric-car makers rose sharply in Wednesday morning trade in Hong Kong, continuing a rebound from earlier losses this week amid signs of improving retail sales.

Li Auto Inc.
LI,
+10.91%

was recently up 8.5%, NIO Inc.
NIO,
+16.70%

jumped 14% and XPeng Inc.
XPEV,
+7.52%

advanced 5.4%. But peer BYD Co.
1211,
-0.66%

lost 1.9%, weakening from a multi-month high reached Monday.

The auto makers’ gains tracked those of their U.S.-listed shares, which also surged overnight. Li Auto was up 11%, NIO rose 17% and XPeng added 7.5%.

Retail sales in China’s passenger-vehicle market have been recovering from severe blows dealt by Covid-19 lockdowns since April in Shanghai, Beijing and other cities, which have been gradually lifted in recent days. Analysts at Citi said in a note that they expect a much stronger month-on-month recovery pace, based on last week’s data on weekly passenger-vehicle insurance registrations. The rebound among insurance registrations for EVs was strong at 21% from the previous week, they noted.

The country’s passenger-vehicle sales in May rose 30% to 1.35 million from 1.04 million vehicles in April, the China Passenger Car Association said last week.

NIO was given an extra lift after it announced a product launch event on Wednesday, where it is expected to unveil the much-anticipated ES7 sport utility vehicle. Deutsche Bank analyst Edison Yu said in a note that “NIO is embarking on the most important product cycle in the company’s history,” estimating deliveries are on track to increase to 25,000 a month by the year-end from 7,000 a month in May.

Write to Clarence Leong at clarence.leong@wsj.com

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