Shares of electric-vehicle makers were mixed on Thursday, with some getting a boost from concerns about skyrocketing oil futures, but shares of EV companies with tighter ties to China languishing in the red.
Shares of Tesla Inc.
and the American depositary receipts of Chinese EV maker Nio Inc.
dropped 1% and 2%, with shares of General Motors Co.
and Ford Motor Co.
which have vowed to add many more EVs to their lineup, also in the red.
Shares of U.S.-focused EV makers were the rare spot of green on stock screens today, with Rivian Automotive Inc.
stock up nearly 2% and shares of Fisker Inc.
jumping nearly 4%.
Sentiment around domestic-focused EV companies was further helped by Nikola Corp.’s
better-than-expected quarterly results earlier Thursday, when the electric-truck maker reported a narrower fourth quarter loss and said it expects to deliver up to 500 of its Tre commercial trucks this year.
The split in EVs comes as the U.S. oil futures benchmark touched $100 and Brent futures, the global benchmark, surged above that mark to touch highs not seen since 2014, stoked by supply and sanctions concerns surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Higher oil prices are generally a positive for EV demand, but markets were taking into account other considerations, said Garrett Nelson with CFRA.
“Some investors are speculating that with Russia having invaded Ukraine, the likelihood of China making a move on Taiwan has increased,” he said.
That has investors nervous about future sanctions “and the impact those could have on companies with significant operations in China such as Tesla and Nio.”
In addition, Taiwan accounts for more than half of global chip production, “so any change in the status quo could have a dramatic impact on chip supply at a time when automakers are already struggling with shortages,” Nelson said.
The ADRS of chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
dropped more than 6% on Thursday, putting them on track for their lowest close since Aug. 20.