Tesla shares steady after two-day rout wipes out $200 billion in market cap

(Corrects paragraph 3 to say stock fell 16.3% so far this week, not 8%)

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc shares edged higher on Wednesday, following a two-day rout that saw the electric-car maker shed as much as $200 billion in market capitalization.

The selloff was spurred by company chief Elon Musk’s poll over the weekend asking his Twitter followers if he should sell 10% of his stake in the company. A near 58% said they supported a sale.

Tesla shares were up 1.7% at $1,041.25 by 0940 GMT after sliding 16.3% so far this week.

Investors are keeping a close watch on Tesla filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for any clues on Musk’s share-sale plans. SEC rules give companies four working days to report major events.

Four former and current Tesla board members, including Musk’s brother Kimbal Musk, filed to sell nearly $1 billion worth of shares late last month, according to filings and market data.

“A CEO asking his followers if he should sell a large number of shares is never going to reflect well in the share price. Doing so a day after his brother has sold a large number just compounds investor fears,” said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Oanda.

“That said, I think we need to take Musk with a pinch of salt and investors may quickly view this as a dip buying opportunity.”

Despite the selloff, the stock is still up nearly 45% for the year after hitting a series of record highs in an eye-watering rally that catapulted the company into the trillion-dollar club last month.

(This story corrects paragraph 3 to say stock fell 16.3% so far this week, not 8%)

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar, additional reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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