Baidu stocks rise before release of new devices

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Baidu stocks rise before release of new devices

Baidu rallied the most in a month in U.S. trading on prospects that China’s biggest online search engine may unveil new products at the company’s annual conference on technology innovation, called Baidu World.

American depositary receipts of Beijing-based Baidu rose 4.8 percent on Tuesday in New York, nearing an all-time high reached in July. Travel booking website International climbed to a record while China Southern Airlines surged the most since November. The Bloomberg China-U.S. Equity Index added 0.6 percent to 116.94.

Baidu was set to release a smart device that can be used in e-commerce at its annual conference in Beijing yesterday, Sina News reported on its website, citing an unidentified person within the company. Baidu is also expanding its mapping services to better compete with online retail platform Alibaba Group.

Chinese stocks in New York followed gains in local markets amid speculation the government will step up stimulus after manufacturing grew at a slower pace in August.

The Baidu World event “is generally something that’s seen as potentially a catalyst in terms of new products, or new announcements for the company,” Cheng Cheng, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, said in a phone interview from Portland, Oregon. “Probably there’s some optimism around that.”

Kaiser Kuo, a spokesman for Baidu, said via email that the company would give limited demonstrations of BaiduEye, a smart eyewear product, at the event yesterday.

Baidu’s ADRs climbed to $224.80, rallying the most since July 25 when it closed at a record $226.50.

The company, which formed an online shopping venture last week with Dalian Wanda Group and Tencent, is investing about $10 million in U.S. start-up IndoorAtlas to expand mapping services inside buildings and shopping centers, a person familiar with the matter said.

“Indoor mapping, which provides more clarity on where things are inside a building, is the direction where the market is heading,” said Cheng at Pacific Securities. “It’s probably longer term in nature.”

Besides e-commerce, the BaiduEye smart device will be suitable for education, mass transportation and helping the visually impaired, the Sina report said., the largest online travel agency in China, soared 5.8 percent to $67.91, the highest level since its 2003 U.S. debut.

ADRs of China Southern, the country’s largest airline by passengers carried, jumped 6.8 percent to $17.29, the steepest advance since November. China Eastern Airlines gained 5.8 percent to $17.17, rallying for the first time in a week.

Chinese government’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 51.1. The final reading of a separate manufacturing gauge from HSBC and Markit Economics was 50.2.


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