LG Chem Venture Plans Second $2.3 Billion Battery-Cell Plant
Topic of the day
General Motors Co. and joint-venture partner LG Chem Ltd. said they plan to invest $2.3 billion to build a second battery-cell plant in Tennessee to support the Detroit auto maker's efforts to expand its electric-vehicles portfolio. The GM/LG venture, Ultium Cells LLC, will build the plant in Spring Hill on land leased from GM, creating 1,300 new jobs. GM and LG said construction on the roughly 2.8-million-square-foot facility will begin immediately, with the plant slated to open in late 2023. The facility will supply battery cells to GM's Spring Hill assembly plant. GM and LG formed Ultium in 2019 to mass produce battery cells at a new facility in Lordstown, Ohio. The companies on Friday said construction of that $2.3 billion plant is well underway. General Motors, the nation's largest auto maker by sales, in January unveiled a 2035 target date for phasing out gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles from its showrooms around the world.
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Gains have been reported by the Swiss stock market on Friday. The SMI gained 0.6 percent to 11,263 points, marginally missing the record level of February 2020 on a closing price basis. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 16 gainers and four losers. 54.41 (previously: 44.99) million shares were traded. Among individual stocks, investors preferred risk and went into cyclicals. Hopes for a further economic recovery drove stocks such as ABB (+1.6%) or Lafargeholcim (+2.1%). Banking stocks also benefited from hopes of a further recovery. In addition, the U.S. banks have almost consistently convinced with their quarterly figures, on Friday Morgan Stanley presented a strong set of figures. UBS gained 1.9 percent and Credit Suisse 1 percent. The securities of the asset manager Partners Group also performed strongly with plus 1.5 percent. Insurers such as Zurich Insurance (+0.9%) and Swiss Re (+0.4) posted somewhat more moderate gains. Defensive stocks trended inconsistently. Roche fell 0.1 percent and kept the leading index SMI in check due to their heavy weighting. Nestle and Novartis, however, climbed 0.8 and 0.4 percent, respectively.
European equity markets rose sharply on Friday, buoyed by renewed optimism about the global economic recovery after the release of encouraging growth data from China. Favorable corporate releases also supported the trend. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.9% to 442.5 points, bringing its gains to 1.2% for the week. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 gained 0.9% and 0.8% respectively on Friday. In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.5%, while in Frankfurt, the DAX 30 climbed 1.3%. In terms of individual companies, Daimler (+2.7%) impressively demonstrated that the recovery in China is also having an impact on individual companies. At €5.75 billion, profit was clearly above the forecast of €4.96 billion. Heidelbergcement (+1.9%) also performed better in the first quarter than expected by the market. At L'Oreal (-1.8%), traders spoke of profit-taking despite strong first-quarter sales figures. The share had already run since February by more than 10 percent. Surprisingly strong developed at the French cosmetics group sales in online trading. Things also went well at Hellofresh (+3.3%). The cooking box supplier had raised its outlook. The shares of automotive supplier Elringklinger rose 8.4% after good first-quarter figures and a raised outlook. Pfeiffer Vacuum (+12.1%) was in a bullish mood. Here, business boomed thanks to the extremely high momentum in the semiconductor market and good demand from end markets.
Wall Street ended a strong week on Friday displaying more records, even if the pace was more leisurely than the previous day. The "Goldilocks" scenario - economic recovery, low interest rates, lavish government aid - continues to accompany the market. Extremely positive business reports in the banking sector paired with lower bond yields are also causing euphoria in the stock market. The U.S. administration's successful vaccination policy with extensive orders is also driving investors into riskier investments such as equities. The Dow Jones Indes rose 0.5 percent to 34,201 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent. Both indexes again climbed to record highs. The Nasdaq composite gained just 0.1 percent - but it had rushed ahead the day before. Morgan Stanley joined the ranks of positive business reports in the banking sector. The major bank more than doubled its first-quarter profit. Earnings and revenues were much better than expected. Despite the best opening period in the company's history, the title showed 2.7 percent in the red. Already on the previous days, it was observed that investors use the business statements to make cash. Bank of New York Mellon posted declining earnings and revenues in the first quarter - the shares fell 4.1 percent. Financial services provider State Street also disappointed with quarterly results, sending its shares plunging 7 percent. Alcoa was again able to push through higher aluminum prices in the reporting quarter and expects further price increases due to high demand. This helped the share to rise by 8.5 percent. The business figures and outlook of paint and coatings manufacturer PPG Industries were also very positively received. The share price climbed 8.8 percent.
On the stock exchanges of East Asia, the new record highs in the U.S. support on Monday. The rising yen slows down the Japanese stock market. Nevertheless, the Nikkei-225 manages the jump with just under 0.3 percent plus. In China, the indices rise more clearly. Shanghai reports firm share prices, Hong Kong still positive. South Korea's Kospi edged up- led by stocks from the pharmaceutical and shipbuilding sectors.
The run on US bonds came to an end. The yield on ten-year U.S. government bonds remained at 1.58 percent. As long as the U.S. Federal Reserve does not tighten monetary policy despite the economic recovery, investors will continue to buy bonds in principle, it was said, in view of the still relatively high yields.
Jefferies raises Givaudan target to CHF 3,300 (3,200) - Underperform
Citi raises L'Oreal target to EUR 300 (290) - Sell
Jefferies raises Siemens target to EUR 170 (164) - Buy
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