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5 Top Stories

Threads Launches on Web; Jio Financial Services Underwhelms; Naver to Launch AI

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.

Web Version of Threads Set to Launch

After a blockbuster start, in recent weeks Meta’s [META] text-centric microblogging app Threads has been haemorrhaging users. In a move to reverse this trend — and remain a threat to Elon Musk’s X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter — Meta is to introduce a desktop version of Threads, something which had been widely requested by users. This follows on from a number of other upgrades, including a chronological feed.

Jio Financial Services Underwhelms as US Tech Firms Eye Listing

The share price for Reliance Industries’ [RELIANCE.NS] spin-off unit Jio Financial Services [JIOFIN.NS] fell on its trading debut on Monday. Some analysts have linked this to the fact that it is likely to be excluded from India’s key indexes, among them the S&P BSE SENSEX, reported Bloomberg. In the US, three major tech firms — namely grocery delivery firm Instacart, software firm Databricks and digital identity verification firm Socure — are reportedly considering listing, amid the hype around Arm’s upcoming IPO.

Estimates Lowered Ahead of Baidu Earnings

Ahead of Baidu’s [9888.HK] second-quarter (Q2) earnings report, a number of brokers — including Citigroup, China International Capital and Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong — have lowered their estimates on the firm. It is one of the Hang Seng Tech Index’s strongest performers year-to-date. However, disappointing uptake of its artificial intelligence (AI) service, Ernie Bot, combined with concerns over the broader economy, have weighed on sentiment. Goldman Sachs is nevertheless still of the opinion that Baidu is the best-positioned Chinese internet firm.

Korea’s Naver to Launch AI services

Naver’s [035420.KS] Line search engine and messaging app already predominate in South Korea and Japan, and this week the company will unveil several generative AI products to complement them. Among these are Cue, which will be added to the Line search engine, and a chatbot called CLOVA X. Naver is the first Korean firm to enter the AI race. According to its CEO, it is one of just five companies to have developed a large language model with more than 100 billion parameters.

China EVs make headway in Europe

Chinese electric-vehicle (EV) makers are breaking into the European market, according to Reuters. So far in 2023, 8% of new EVs sold in Europe were made by Chinese brands, up from 4% in 2021 and 6% last year, according to consultancy Inovev. After reporting its biggest quarterly loss in three years, Xpeng [XPEV] Vice Chairman and Co-president Brian Gu told CNBC that he expects cost-cutting measures, combined with the firm’s Volkswagen partnership, to curtail losses.

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