Rivian, Mercedes to Partner on Electric-Van Factory
Topic of the day
Rivian Automotive Inc. is working with Mercedes-Benz Group AG to establish a new European factory to make both companies’ electric vans. The two companies said Thursday they signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint venture to invest in and operate a factory in Europe to produce large electric vans for both companies, starting in a few years. The planned facility, which would only produce electric vehicles, would use an existing Mercedes site in Central or Eastern Europe, the companies said. The agreement is subject to Rivian and Mercedes entering into final binding agreements and obtaining the relevant regulatory clearances. Shares of Rivian rose more than 7% to $35.65 in early trading. The stock is still down by about two-thirds this year. The companies said they hope to design electric vans that are optimized for efficient production on common assembly lines at the plant, which will produce two large vans, one based on Mercedes’ electric-vehicle platform and the other based on the Rivian Light Van platform. The companies said the collaboration will help both of them rapidly scale the production of electric vans while benefiting from operations synergies and lowering costs.
After staying slightly up in positive territory till about a couple of hours past noon on Thursday, the Switzerland stock market slipped, and ended weak despite recovering most of the lost ground in the closing minutes. The benchmark SMI ended with a loss of 14.84 points or 0.14% at 10,790.32. The index, which advanced to 10,867.83 at the start, dropped to a low of 10,667.43 before staging a fairly good recovery. Swiss Re surged 2.3% and UBS Group gained nearly 2%. Sika, Credit Suisse and Partners Group ended higher by 1.46%, 1.31% and 1.13%, respectively. Lonza Group and Swiss Life Holding both ended nearly 1% up. Richemont drifted down 2.8%. Logitech shed 1.25%, while Nestle and Swisscom both ended nearly 1% down. Among the stocks in the Swiss Mid Price Index, Helvetia declined 3.65%. Clariant ended 1.25% down, while AMS, Swiss Prime Site, Schindler Ps, Flughafen Zurich and Lindt & Spruengli lost 0.8 to 1.1%. Tecan Group climbed 2.3%. Bachem Holding, Julius Baer, Temenos Group, Cembra Money Bank and VAT Group gained 1.2 to 1.6%.
In a volatile session, the European stock markets closed slightly higher overall on Thursday, despite the European Central Bank's (ECB) historic rate hike and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's renewed determination to fight inflation. At the close, the Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.5% to 414.1 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 gained 0.3% each. The FTSE 100 in London rose 0.3%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt gave up 0.1%. The European Central Bank raised interest rates by the largest amount since the early days of Europe’s currency union, moving aggressively to combat record inflation even as an energy crisis puts Europe on the brink of recession. The bank said in a statement that it would increase its key rate to 0.75% from zero—its second hike this year following a 50-basis-point rise in July—and signaled that further rises were likely over the coming months. Finnish pulp, paper and forestry product company Stora Enso Oyj said Thursday it has acquired Dutch corrugated packaging producer De Jong Packaging Group in a deal worth around 1.02 billion euros ($1.02 billion). The acquisition will advance Stora Enso’s strategic direction, accelerate revenue growth and build market share in renewable packaging in Europe while enhancing its offering in fresh produce, e-commerce and industrial packaging, it said.
U.S. stocks rose Thursday as investors digested remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the European Central Bank took forceful action to tamp down inflation. The S&P 500 rose 26.31 points, or 0.7%, to 4006.18. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 193.24 points, or 0.6%, to 31774.52, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 70.23 points, or 0.6%, to 11862.13. Stocks have mostly weakened in recent sessions as investors have worried about the twin threats of rising interest rates and sluggish global economic growth. Global central banks have a difficult balancing act, as they tighten monetary policy to tame inflation, while seeking to avoid excessive harm to already struggling economies. Twitter Inc. agreed in June to pay roughly $7 million to the whistleblower whose allegations will be part of Elon Musk’s case against the company, according to people familiar with the matter. The settlement was completed days before Peiter Zatko filed his whistleblower complaint in July. Mr. Zatko is the hacker who was Twitter’s security head before being fired in January. In his whistleblower complaint, Mr. Zatko accuses the company of failing to protect sensitive user data and lying about its security problems. Meta Platforms Inc. has disbanded its Responsible Innovation team, which was once a prominent piece of its effort to address concerns about the potential downsides of its products. The team had included roughly two dozen engineers, ethicists and others who collaborated with internal product teams and outside privacy specialists, academics and users to identify and address potential concerns about new products and alterations to Facebook and Instagram.
Positive signs dominate the stock markets in East Asia and Australia on Friday. In China, meanwhile, the upward trend in prices slowed in August, which observers explain with the pandemic-related lockdowns. Lower demand for commodities caused their prices to fall. Both consumer and producer prices rose less than expected and also remained below the Chinese central bank's inflation target of 3 per cent.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note ticked higher to 3.291% from 3.264%, its seventh-highest level this year, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
Barclays raises Allianz to EUR 214 (211)/Equalw. – Trader
BoA raises the Sodexo target to EUR 94 (91) – Buy
Dt. Bank raises the SGL Carbon target to EUR 8.40 (8.10) – Hold
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