Intel Plans Semiconductor Plant in Israel and Poland
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Intel (+1.6%) plans to build a $4.6 billion semiconductor assembly and test facility in Poland, giving the country a coveted place in the chip giant's growing European production footprint and boosting Europe's efforts at becoming more self-sufficient in chip production. The planned factory will be built near the southwestern city of Wroclaw, already a hub for American business in Poland. It would be the latest addition to a European chip supply line that leaders on the continent have pushed to bolster. Europe and the U.S. are trying to pivot from their recent reliance on Asian capacity by plying chip makers with subsidies and other economic incentives to build new factories on both sides of the Atlantic. Intel already has a wafer fabrication site in Ireland and another planned in neighbouring Germany. The three facilities will "increase resilience and cost efficiency of the European semiconductor supply chain," the company said. Furthermore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday chip maker Intel has agreed to invest billions in a semiconductor factory, in a deal he said signalled economic confidence in the country amid controversy over his policies. Netanyahu put the figure at $25 billion. A person familiar with the plan said that figure includes $10 billion toward the plant announced in 2021. Work at the site, in the southern Israeli town of Kiryat Gat, is apparently already under way.
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On Friday, the SMI gained 0.7 per cent to 11,386 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 18 price gainers and two price losers. 56.17 (previously: 20.56) million shares were traded. The recovery was mainly driven by the two large pharmaceutical stocks. Novartis advanced by 0.4 per cent and Roche by as much as 1.6 per cent. Roche announced that it had received approval for the cancer drug Columvi from the US health authority FDA. Other defensive stocks were also sought after, such as Sonova (+1.2%), Alcon (+1.4%) or Givaudan (+1.9%). In contrast, cyclicals lagged again as investors positioned themselves cautiously despite their willingness to invest. ABB (+0.1%), Geberit (+0.1%) and Holcim (+0.1%) were among the weakest stocks in the SMI. VAT extended the previous day's sharp losses and shed an additional 1 per cent. The vacuum valve specialist had informed about introducing short-time work in its Swiss factories.
European stocks edged higher on Friday, as investors continued to digest the central-bank decisions in the U.S. and Europe that showed policy makers aren't yet finished raising rates as underlying inflation pressures persist. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.5% to 466.8 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 were both up 1.3%. The DAX 40 in Frankfurt rose by 0.4% and the FTSE 100 in London climbed by 0.2%. Over the week as a whole, the Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced by 1.5%. Solvay (-3.7%) presented on Friday the capital structures and dividend policies planned for the two independent companies which will be listed on the stock exchange after the demerger of the chemicals group. Satellite operator Eutelsat (+1.5%) has signed an agreement to sell its retail broadband business in Europe to a private operator "recognised for its expertise". It did not specify the amount of the transaction nor the identity of the buyer. Fitch Ratings upgraded the credit rating of the aerospace group Airbus (+1%) from "BBB+" to "A-", with a stable outlook. The agency justified this decision by the group's commercial momentum in its markets and by the turnaround in its profitability over the last two years. Construction and concessions group Vinci (+2%) reported an increase in airport and motorway traffic in May. Crédit Agricole SA (CASA) (-0.1%) is one of the candidates bidding to take over Belgian investment bank Degroof Petercam, which is valued at between €1 and €2 billion, reported French newspaper Les Echos on Friday.
Major stock indexes backed off the 2023 highs they hit on Thursday but ended the week higher, lifted by the Federal Reserve’s decision to pause its interest-rate increases as well as data showing U.S. consumer confidence and spending is picking up. The S&P 500 notched its fifth consecutive weekly gain, the longest such streak since autumn 2021, before the Fed began raising borrowing costs to cool inflation. Yet, on Friday, the S&P 500 shed 0.4%. A decline in tech stocks outweighed gains in utilities, materials and consumer staples. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3%, or about 109 points. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.7%. U.S. stock and bond markets are closed Monday for the Juneteenth holiday. Cruise operators and airlines were among the top-performing stocks in the S&P 500 during the week. Carnival led the index with a gain of 21%, while rival Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings added 11%. Southwest Airlines gained 12%, and Delta Air Lines climbed 8.9%. Cosmetics maker Estée Lauder and Domino’s Pizza added 16% and 11%, respectively. Shares of Mediterranean restaurant chain Cava Group surged 99% in their market debut Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. Though the stock dropped 13% Friday, the first-day pop was a jolt for the IPO market, which has been unusually slow for the past 18 months. Rival exchange operator Nasdaq was one of the week’s biggest losers. Its shares ended the week 11% lower after it said it would pay $10.5 billion for a maker of bank software. The recovery in stocks this year has been led by a few giant technology firms, like Nvidia, the first chip maker to attain a trillion-dollar market value, and Facebook parent Meta Platforms, which has more than doubled in 2023.
Stocks in Asia mostly fell on Monday. The Hong Kong stock exchange is one of the weakest in the region with a drop of 1.6 per cent, while in Shanghai the composite falls by 0.5 per cent. Technology stocks lead the list of losers: Baidu dropped 1.7 per cent and Alibaba 1.3 per cent. Technology stocks are also among the weakest in South Korea, where the Kospi declines 0.8 per cent. Samsung and SK Hynix sink by 1.0 and 4.5 per cent respectively. In Japan, the Nikkei shed 1.2 per cent, also weighed down by the slightly stronger yen. The semiconductor stock Tokyo Electron tumbles by 2.7 per cent amid China related uncertainties, Advantest even plunges by 3.6 per cent.
The policy-sensitive 2-year U.S. Treasury yield jumped on Friday, finishing with its second week of advances, after two Federal Reserve policy makers reinforced the central bank’s message that more rate hikes are needed to bring down inflation. The 10-year Treasury note was yielding 3.77%, up 4 basis points while the 2-year Treasury note was yielding 4.729%, up 8 basis points.
Price target Straumann: Credit Suisse raises to CHF 155 (150) - Outperform
Rating VAT: ZKB lowers to market weight (Overweight)
Target price Cosmo: ODDO BHF SCA downgrades to CHF 85 (97) - Outperform
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