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5 Top Stories

Aston Martin’s new partnership; Element 25 will supply GM; JD to create food retailer

Every day, we handpick the 5 Top Stories stock market investors need to know. In 5 minutes, you’ll learn the stocks, CEOs, and money managers moving markets. 

Aston Martin stock spikes on Lucid tie-up

The Aston Martin [AML.L] share price jumped by some 15%, its biggest spike in more than a month, following news that it is to join forces with the US’ Lucid Group [LCID], who will make powertrain components for the former’s electric vehicles (EVs), expected to launch in 2025. Aston Martin will pay Lucid $232m in cash and shares, equivalent to a 3.7% stake. The British carmaker will also extend longstanding cooperation with Mercedes-Benz [MBG.DE], which owns a 9% stake in its British peer.

Manganese producer Element 25 inks deal to supply GM

Shares in Australia’s Element 25 [E25.AX] were up more than 20% after it announced it is to supply manganese sulphate to General Motors [GM]. The carmaker is moving to lock down supplies of battery minerals for its US-produced EVs. Element 25 is developing a manganese sulphate plant in Louisiana, which is slated to open in 2025. Between GM and Stellantis [STLA], some 65% of its first phase of production has already been earmarked.  

JD.com set to launch new food retailer

JD.com [JD], China’s second-biggest ecommerce firm, is reportedly to merge its 7Fresh supermarket chain with online services, including the Pinpin buying platform, with a view to creating a food retailer with a substantial footprint in the country. The unit will be headed by Yan Xiaobing, former head of the company’s international wing. At last week’s sales gala, JD.com announced it aims to launch seven listed firms, each one worth a minimum of $14bn.

Chip frenzy unabated as Wolfspeed nets $2bn

Semiconductor maker Wolfspeed’s [WOLF] expansion in the US will be provided with $2bn by a group of lenders led by Apollo Global Management [APO]. Elsewhere in the space, Japanese chip design firm Socionext [6526.T] has seen its share price pop 245% this year, becoming the TOPIX index’s best-performing stock. Meanwhile, the Japanese government is to buy out and then privatise JSR Corp. [4185.T], the global leader in chipmaking compounds, for $6.3bn.

How much work remains to be done on the Vision Pro?

Having, at last, unveiled its mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro, Apple [APPL] is now working to finalise the software on the device. However, it still has some way to go, according to Bloomberg. For example, several interface features — such as ‘in-air typing — are still not ready, while the rollout strategy has yet to be finalised. The hardware may also need work: some users have reported that the device begins to feel heavy after several hours of use.

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