Renault and Nissan deepen co-operation in recovery plan
Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have announced new plans to work together more closely on developing and producing cars, as they seek to move forward with an alliance that was severely dented by the dramatic arrest and flight of Carlos Ghosn.
The new plan for the alliance, of which Ghosn was the architect, will see one of the carmakers leading on each type of vehicle and region where they are seen to be a “leader”, while the others follow.
That will mean less doubling up on costs, long perceived to be a problem in companies that are nominally working together. Industry experts have joked that the electric cars developed by Nissan and Renault had little in common other than door handles – meaning the alliance was effectively bearing expensive development costs twice.
The new plan could see them save costs during the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen carmakers close factories and threatens to severely impact sales for the next year and beyond.
It could also see some factories closing as companies share work. Investment needs for new models could fall by 40% under the scheme, the alliance said.
As expected, European shares have gained at the opening bell.
The FTSE 100 is up by 0.6%, while the more UK-focused FTSE 250 has gained 0.8% in early trades.
The broad European Stoxx 600 has gained 0.2%, with Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac 40 up 0.3% apiece.
Chinese shares held back by Hong Kong tensions but stocks rally elsewhere
Good morning, and welcome to our live, rolling coverage of business, economics and financial markets.
Global stock markets rallied on Wednesday morning as the improving outlook on lockdown easing for the most part outweighed concerns over China’s imposition of new security laws on Hong Kong.
Shares in the territory fell by 1% and the Shanghai stock market index on mainland China lost about 0.5%, amid signs there could be a repeat of last year’s disruptive protests.
Here’s the Guardian’s report from Hong Kong this morning:
Thousands of armed police have flooded the streets of Hong Kong in an unprecedented show of force to prevent protests against a law criminalising ridicule of China’s national anthem.
At lunchtime rallies police fired pepper bullets into crowds, appearing to hit one reporter, and detained dozens of protesters. Protests have also been fuelled by growing anger at Beijing’s increasing interference in the semi-autonomous city.
Yet despite threats of action against China from President Donald Trump on Tuesday, investors elsewhere appeared to be more interested in signs of potential economic recovery.
In Japan the Topix index gained 1% after reports of new stimulus measures. Stephen Innes, global chief market strategist at online trading platform Axicorp, said:
Stimulus measures are the topic of the day again as Asian bourses are trading up this morning with the Nikkei leading the charges as Japans government looks set to unveil another $1.1tn package helping the Nikkei to gain
European stock markets were expected to gain ground ahead of opening, with FTSE 100 futures indicating shares were set to rise by about 0.6%.
And investors will be keeping an eye on Christine Lagarde this morning for any signs (likely in broad terms) of her thoughts on developments within the eurozone. The European Central Bank president will be answering questions from young people in an event live streamed on social media.
- 8:30am BST: European Central Bank (ECB) president Christine Lagarde Q&A
- 9:30am BST: ECB vice-president Luis de Guindos speeach
- 1:55pm BST: US Redbook retail sales (to 23 May)