Morning Brief: Top Stories Dominating Financial Media on Wednesday, April 13

Reuters

Blackrock To Introduce Its First China ETF In 2022: Reuters

  • According to two people with close knowledge of the matter, BlackRock, Inc. BLK plans to launch its first product in China’s $220 billion onshore exchange-traded funds (ETF) market later this year and has started hiring accordingly.
  • The world’s largest money manager, which thrives on the rise of passive investing with 70% of its $10 trillion global portfolio in ETFs and index funds, will be the first wholly-owned foreign fund manager to enter China’s onshore ETF market, writes Reuters.
  • Presently, the U.S. firm manages overseas assets of a handful of China’s large state-backed investors.

Hyundai To Start EV Production In US

  • Hyundai Motor Co HYMTF plans to start electric vehicles production in its Montgomery assembly line in the U.S., Reuters reported.
  • The auto major will invest $300 million to build the Electrified Genesis GV 70 and a hybrid version of the Santa Fe at its U.S. manufacturing center.

US Central Bankers Remain Divided On Post Pandemic Inflation Outlook

  • Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard and Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin saw a series of interest rate hikes and a reduction in the Fed’s massive bond holdings bringing inflation back down toward the Fed’s 2% goal.
  • But once the economy moved beyond price pressures from pandemic-constrained supply and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the economic picture could reset closer to pre-pandemic norms, Brainward added.
  • Barkin saw post-pandemic upward price pressures and inflation continue as supply chains become more resistant to potential disruptions and governments continue to spend on aging population or defense.

Justin Bieber, Maria Sharapova, Bruce Willis Back Crypto Startup In $87M Funding Round

  • MoonPay has raised $87 million in funding from high-profile investors, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing a statement from the cryptocurrency payments startup.
  • What Happened: The firm’s Series A funding round saw participation from celebrity investors like tennis star Maria Sharapova and pop singer Justin Bieber.
  • Other investors that participated in the round included Hollywood actor Bruce Willis, rapper Snoop Dogg and Canadian singer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, otherwise known as The Weeknd.

Bloomberg

Japan-Based Shinogi’s COVID-19 Drug Associated With Birth Defects: Bloomberg

  • Shionogi & Co stock slumped 16% in Tokyo after preclinical studies showed its experimental COVID-19 drug disturbed fetal development, triggering concerns about its approval.
  • Kyodo News reported that the drug likely wouldn’t be recommended for pregnant women without giving attribution.
  • The animal data, which showed harm when given at high doses, was submitted to Japanese regulators in February when the company sought a priority review required for conditional approval, a Shionogi spokesman said.

Deutsche Telekom Inches Closer To Holding T-Mobile’s Majority Stake With Latest Move: Bloomberg

  • Deutsche Telekom AG DTEGY paid $2.4 billion to SoftBank Group Corp SFTBY SFTBF to increase its stake in T-Mobile U.S. Inc TMUS to 48.4%.
  • Deutsche Telekom acquired 21.2 million shares at an average price of $113 per T-Mobile share, taking it closer to holding a majority of the U.S. division.
  • The purchase price implied a 13.4% discount to T-Mobile’s April 11 closing of $130.42. T-Mobile shares closed at $131.44 on April 12.

Financial Times

Surging Power Prices Trigger Severe Metal Crisis

  • Inventories of aluminum, copper, nickel, and zinc traded on the London Metal Exchange have plunged by up to 70% over the past year, as record power prices in Europe hit production and the Ukraine war threatened output from Russia.
  • Analysts acknowledged that the soaring gas and power prices are behind the drawdown. They forced companies to curtail production at lossmaking zinc and aluminum smelters. Other reasons are production cuts and possible disruption of copper and nickel from Russia amid its war with Ukraine.
  • The crisis could drive up the price of the LME as traders and producers seek to close short positions by repurchasing contracts.

IEA Marginally Cuts Global Oil Demand Forecast On Mired Outlook Due To China COVID-19 Lockdown, Russia-Ukraine War

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) has lowered its global oil demand forecast amid surging coronavirus cases in China and weaker than expected demand in the U.S. and other developed countries.
  • The agency now expects demand to average 99.4 million barrels a day this year, down from its previous estimate of 99.7 million b/d in March.
  • “The stringent lockdowns in China have led us to further revise down our estimate for oil demand in the second quarter and the year as a whole,” the Paris-based group said in its monthly oil market report on Wednesday.

Benzinga

Google To Invest $9.5B Across US Offices, Data Centers

  • Alphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL Google looks to invest $9.5 billion across its U.S. offices and data centers in 2022.
  • In 2021, Google looked to invest $7 billion in the initiative.
  • Google will open a new office in Atlanta in 2022 and expand its data center in Storey County, Nevada.

Insider Trading Allegations Abound As Ethereum Wallet Buys $400K Tokens Before Coinbase Releases’ Potential’ Listings

  • An Ethereum ETH/USD wallet address purchased at least $400,000 worth of cryptocurrency tokens due to be listed by Coinbase Global Inc COIN a day before the official announcement was made.
  • According to on-chain transactions highlighted by noted cryptocurrency trader Cobie on Twitter, the wallet acquired a significant amount of six tokens mentioned in Coinbase’s list of assets “under consideration” before the information was made public.

Shiba Inu Metaverse Launches Today: What’s In Store?

  • The Shiba Inu SHIB/USD team announced that the land bid event for its metaverse would launch in a few hours.
  • What Happened: “The Metaverse launches today,” stated an update from the official Shiba Inu Twitter Inc TWTR account earlier today.
  • The team stated that the land bid event “will officially launch in a few hours.” In order to participate, users will have to lock their $LEASH and $SHIBOSHI tokens and be prepared to make bids with Ethereum ETH/USD.

  • Facebook Parent Will Take A 47.5% Cut For Virtual Sales In Metaverse: ReportMark Zuckerberg-led Meta FB will reportedly charge creators in its metaverse a 47.5% fee for all sales.
  • According to a report from Insider on Tuesday, Meta will charge a 30% fee for sales made on its virtual reality system Meta Quest and another 25% sales fee for sales made through its Horizon Worlds metaverse.
  • Insider estimated that Meta’s cut will be 47.5% of the creator’s sale price, leaving the seller with 52.5%.

Tesla Rival Lucid Launches Luxury Sedan With Higher Range: What You Need To Know

  • Luxury electric vehicle startup Lucid Group Inc LCID said on Tuesday launched the Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance, a new edition of its powerful and expensive luxury sedan.
  • The company said deliveries for the new model are scheduled to begin in June at a ticket price of $179,000 per vehicle, $10,000 more than its limited-edition Air sedans.
  • Lucid’s Air entry-level sedan is priced at $77,400, excluding an up to $7,500 federal tax credit for plug-in vehicles, while its Dream edition variant is sold at $169,000 and has a 520-mile range, more than Tesla Inc TSLA models.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX, NASA Now Target April-End To Send Crew-4 Astronauts To Space

  • U.S. space agency NASA said on Tuesday it is now targeting the last week of April to send the Crew-4 astronauts to the International Space Station via Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
  • The space companies are targeting no earlier than 5:26 a.m. ET Saturday, April 23, for the launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  • The dates have been adjusted due to the launch of SpaceX’s first 10-day, all-private Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) to the ISS on April 8.

Shiba Inu Rallies 35% After Robinhood Listing

  • Shiba Inu SHIB/USD saw its price spike after being listed by Robinhood Markets Inc HOOD on Tuesday.
  • According to data from Benzinga Pro, SHIB rallied 35% to an intra-day high of $0.00002977 after Robinhood announced that it had finally listed the meme-based cryptocurrency.
  • At the time of writing, SHIB was still up by 20% over a 24-hour period and was trading around $0.00002671. The meme token saw a 440% surge in daily trading volume which exceeded $4 billion at press time.

Halozyme Buys Antares In $960M Deal To Create One Drug Delivery, Specialty Product Entity

  • Halozyme Therapeutics Inc HALO will acquire Antares Pharma Inc ATRS for $5.60 per share, valuing Antares at approximately $960 million.
  • The transaction is expected to be accretive to Halozyme’s 2022 revenue and adjusted earnings and accelerate top-and bottom-line growth through 2027, with multiple growth drivers beyond 2027.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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