1. Asian Stocks Gain as Data Reinforce Fed Rate Path: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) — Asian equities rose on Monday as US inflation figures did little to alter views that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year. South Korean stocks advanced while Japanese shares traded in a narrow range after a report showed confidence among the country’s large manufacturers weakened slightly for the first time in four quarters.

  2. Gold Rises to Record as Cooling US Inflation Aids Rate-Cut Bets

    (Bloomberg) — Gold rose to a record as the second quarter kicked off, extending a rally that’s been driven by the Federal Reserve moving closer to rate cuts and deepening geopolitical tensions. Bullion jumped as much as 1.2% to $2,256.44 an ounce early on Monday, after setting a series of all-time highs in recent sessions.

  3. Key Fed inflation gauge rose 2.8% annually in February, as expected

    Inflation rose in line with expectations in February, likely keeping the Federal Reserve on hold before it can start considering interest rate cuts, according to a measure the central bank considers its more important barometer. The personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy increased 2.8% on a 12-month basis and was up 0.3% from a month ago. Both numbers matched the Dow Jones estimates. Including volatile food and energy costs, the headline PCE reading was 0.3% for the month and 2.5% at the 12-month rate, compared to estimates for 0.4% and 2.5%.

  4. Japan Service Firms’ Optimism Tempered by Softer Factory Sector

    (Bloomberg) — Japan’s largest service-sector firms are their most optimistic in more than three decades even as confidence among manufacturers softens a tad, a Bank of Japan survey shows, offering a largely positive outlook for the economy as the central bank mulls its next policy move. An index of sentiment among the country’s largest non-manufacturers advanced to 34 in March, exceeding estimates and marking the highest level in more than three decades, according to the BOJ’s quarterly tankan report Monday.

  5. Netanyahu Vows to Move Civilians From Rafah, Then Smash Hamas

    (Bloomberg) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the military is preparing to move more than a million Palestinian civilians out of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, provide them with sufficient aid and then carry out an attack on the remaining Hamas fighting battalions there.

  6. China’s Industrial Upswing Is Latest Sign of Economic Recovery

    (Bloomberg) — China’s manufacturing activity rebounded in March, snapping a five-month decline and adding to evidence that country’s industrial sector is building momentum for an economic recovery. The official manufacturing purchasing managers index expanded to 50.8, the highest reading in a year, in a boost for policy makers seeking to restore confidence in the world’s second-biggest economy.

  7. Toyota Industries Tumbles on Denso’s Plan to Sell Entire Stake

    (Bloomberg) — Toyota Industries tumbles as much as 7.4%, the most since Dec. 8, after Denso said it’s planning to sell its entire stake in the auto parts maker. While the sale by Denso wasn’t a surprise, offloading its entire stake was unexpected, writes Citigroup analyst Arifumi Yoshida in a note. Selling about 30 million shares over 2.5 years works out to less than 10%.

  8. Daimler Truck Holding AG and Volvo AB will face a retrial in a €560 million ($603 million) case over a price fixing cartel, a German appeals court ruled.

    Judges in Munich overturned a previous ruling dismissing the case that’s seeking to make trackmaker’s pay for overcharging customers for their vehicles. Among the defendants are also Volkswagen AG’s MAN, unit and Iveco Group NV. Daimler Truck said it disagrees with the ruling and may appeal after reviewing judgment. The claims are unfounded, the company added. Volvo and MAN declined to comment. Iveco didn’t immediately reply to emails seeking comment.

  9. The home-furnishings company’s Q4 results didn’t ‘provide resolutions to the key debates’ around its future performance, one analyst says.

    Shares of RH – the home-furnishings chain formerly known as Restoration Hardware – rallied on Thursday and are on pace for their biggest percentage gain in roughly three-and-a-half years, after the company forecast improving demand, this year fueled by new outdoor- and indoor-furniture lines, new catalogs and advertising campaigns, and additional retail stores. Shares of RH (RH) were up 16.8% in early-afternoon trading, putting the stock on pace for its biggest percentage jump since September 10, 2020, when it rose 20.05%. Shares are now up 42% over the past 12 months.

  10. Monness Crespi Hardt analyst cuts AI software company’s rating to bring it ‘back to reality’

    Palantir Technologies Inc. stock fell Thursday after it drew a downgrade to sell from neutral at Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co., as analysts took aim at the AI software company’s “egregiously rich valuation. “With a year-to-date rise of about 43% and a gain of nearly 200% in the past year, Palantir Technologies (PLTR) may have to face realities of a potential economic downturn, analyst Brian White said. Palantir Tech’s stock was down by 6% in afternoon trades on Thursday on volume of about 44 million shares. The stock generates average daily volume of 69 million shares.

  11. Xiaomi Corp. launched its first electric vehicle, the SU7 series, with aggressive pricing starting with the base SU7 model costing RMB 215,900 ($29,900) and prices stretching up to RMB299,900 for the SU7 Max.

    Xiaomi targets mass deliveries by end April and is incentivising early orders with additional freebies like a built-in fridge. The pre-orders for the SU7 models topped 50,000 within 27 minutes of its launch, and Xiaomi’s US-traded ADRs surged 12% after the launch event. To avoid delays in getting regulatory approval, Xiaomi partnered with state-owned Beijing Automotive Group Co. for the new vehicles which will go on sales in 59 stores across 29 Chinese cities.

  12. Panasonic Holdings Corp. agreed to sell part of its automotive systems unit to affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc. for ¥311 billion ($2.1 billion), subject to adjustments.

    The automotive business which focused on infotainment systems and other components, accounts for around 15% of Panasonic’s sales for the latest fiscal year that ended in March, with revenue of ¥1.28 trillion ($8.5 billion). Apollo has verified that the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter in 2025.

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