The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 3rd November 2023

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Amazon's playbook for happy holidays: discounts, same-day delivery - and AI

Generative AI will be Amazon's (AMZN.O) secret weapon this holiday season, leveraging data from its more than 160 million Prime subscribers to improve ad targeting and allowing merchants to produce promotions quickly.

Shopify merchants seek AI boost for key sales decisions

A week after e-commerce giant Amazon(AMZN.O) said it is giving its sellers new generative artificial intelligence advertising tools this holiday season, Shopify (SHOP.TO) has to prove to investors that its AI products will spark growth when it reports results on Thursday.

Shopify soars as AI bets, cost controls power return to profit

Canada's Shopify (SHOP.TO), returned to a profit in the third quarter, driven by strict cost controls and adoption of artificial intelligence to attract more merchants to its services.

MercadoLibre's third-quarter profit soars past expectations

Latin America's e-commerce behemoth MercadoLibre (MELI.O) reported on Wednesday a better-than-expected 178.2% surge in third-quarter net profit, compared with the previous year, after revenue grew across markets, especially in Brazil.

Alibaba banks on aggressive Singles Day pricing to recoup sales mojo

China's Alibaba (9988.HK) is pressuring merchants to offer rock-bottom prices on its marketplaces in this year's Singles Day extravaganza, three industry sources said, as the e-commerce company seeks to boost sales and stem a drop in market share.

US holiday sales growth to slow as inflation pinches wallets - report

U.S. holiday sales in 2023 are expected to rise at the slowest pace in five years, data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) showed on Thursday, as Americans grappling with sticky inflation think twice before splurging this shopping season.

Zalando sees end-year clothing demand staying weak

Europe's biggest online fashion retailer, Zalando (ZALG.DE), sees continued pressure on demand for the rest of the year and now expects 2023 sales to decline, the company said on Thursday as it reported weaker than expected third-quarter revenue.

Target seeing customers pulling back even on groceries - CEO tells CNBC

Target (TGT.N) is seeing shoppers trim spending even on groceries as household budgets are stretched due to higher prices and borrowing costs, the U.S. big-box retailer's CEO Brian Cornell said in an interview aired on CNBC on Thursday.

Canadian union Unifor ends strike after tentative deal with Stellantis

Canadian union Unifor called off a brief strike that began early on Monday after reaching a tentative deal with Chrysler-parent Stellantis (STLAM.MI) that offers workers sizeable hourly wage increases and a reduction in time needed to achieve top pay.

Highlights of UAW deal with General Motors

The United Auto Workers (UAW) reached a tentative agreement with General Motors (GM.N) on Monday, the latest in a series of hard-fought deals with the Detroit Three automakers that will help its members win record pay hikes following six weeks of a coordinated strike.

Dana sees 'significant impact' from UAW strikes to North American operations

Auto parts supplier Dana (DAN.N) said on Friday its operations in North America were "significantly impacted" by the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) union strikes against automakers, while outlining the expected financial hit from them.

Canada's Unifor union, St. Lawrence Seaway reach tentative deal, ending strike

The union representing St. Lawrence Seaway workers in eastern Canada said it reached a tentative labor agreement on Sunday, ending a week-long strike that shut down a key North American trade route linked to the Atlantic Ocean.

Toyota hikes wage of US factory workers after UAW labor deals

Toyota Motor (7203.T) said on Wednesday it is raising the wages of nonunion U.S. factory workers just days after the United Auto Workers union won major pay and benefit hikes from the Detroit Three automakers.

Tesla falls as production cut by battery supplier Panasonic fans EV demand fears

Shares of Tesla (TSLA.O) fell about 5% on Monday after key supplier Panasonic Holdings (6752.T) said it cut automotive battery production in the September quarter, cementing concerns of a global slowdown in electric-vehicle (EV) sales.

Marelli plant closure forewarns painful electric vehicle transition

Around 230 workers in Italy's "Motor Valley" have begun striking over the planned closure of their auto parts factory, an early casualty of the European Union's transition towards electric vehicles.

Lower prices, oversupply to weigh on lithium miners

Albemarle Corp (ALB.N), the world's largest producer of lithium, is expected to report lower quarterly profit as prices of the silvery-white metal came under pressure due to concerns of falling near-term demand and oversupply.

Global EV battery supply chain puzzles over China graphite curbs

Beijing's move to restrict graphite exports will have a disproportionate impact on foreign makers of electric vehicle battery components who have not yet shifted to using as much synthetic material as Chinese counterparts, industry insiders and experts said.

Volkswagen puts off east European gigafactory amid sluggish EV demand

German car group Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) will not make a decision on a fourth battery factory site for now, with demand for electric vehicles in Europe lagging expectations, Chairman Oliver Blume said on Wednesday.

Lithium producers stay bullish on EVs despite growing headwinds

The world’s largest lithium producers say they remain bullish on long-term demand for the battery material in the midst of recent price drops fueled by growing worries that the global pace of electric vehicle adoption is slowing.

Toyota pledges $8 billion more for US battery plant to rev up EV push

Toyota Motor (7203.T) said on Tuesday it would boost investment by $8 billion and add about 3,000 jobs at its electric-vehicle battery manufacturing plant in North Carolina, accelerating the Japanese automaker's push to electrify its lineup.

Taiwan's Powerchip chooses northern Japan for planned $5.4 billion fab

Taiwanese chipmaker Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp and Japanese financial firm SBI Holdings said on Tuesday they have selected Miyagi prefecture in northern Japan as the location for a planned $5.4 billion foundry.

Vietnam eyes first semiconductor plant, US officials warn of high costs

Vietnam is holding talks with chips companies with the aim of boosting investment in the country and possibly building its first chipmaking plant, or fab, two business executives said, despite warnings from U.S. industry officials about high costs.

Foreign investment surges in Vietnam as companies plan new factories

Foreign investment in Vietnam surged in October as the manufacturing hub attracted more than double the financial pledges it has received monthly this year, amid a big boost in spending for new plants, official data showed on Friday.

Dutch firms eye chips making in Vietnam amid China tensions

Dutch semiconductor companies and suppliers are planning manufacturing investments in Vietnam, top officials told Reuters on Thursday during a business mission to Hanoi led by outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Canadian Solar to invest $800 million to build cell manufacturing plant

Canadian Solar (CSIQ.O) said on Monday it would invest $800 million to build a solar photovoltaic (PV) cell production facility at the River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

UPS targets lucrative e-commerce returns, healthcare with acquisitions

United Parcel Service (UPS.N) on Thursday said it is spending more than $1 billion this quarter to buy two companies it hopes will bolster profit and volumes amid bare-knuckled market share battles with delivery rivals like FedEx (FDX.N).

How African apparel industry's future depends on U.S. Congress

Norah Nasimiyu knows the future of Kenya's garment trade, which has employed her for 13 years and helped her put six children through school and university, lies in the hands of the U.S. Congress.

Orange juice prices hit all-time high amid bleak production outlook

Prices for orange juice rose on Tuesday to the highest since future contracts started trading in New York in 1966 as an outlook for limited production in the United States, Brazil and Mexico boosted investors' interest in the product.

Panama Canal to slash booking slots due to drought over coming months

The Panama Canal, one of the world's main maritime trade routes, will further reduce daily ship crossings in the coming months due to a severe drought, the authorities managing the canal said late on Monday, increasing shipping costs.

Sustainable cotton group boosts tracking for top retailers

Swiss-based sustainability group Better Cotton said on Thursday it has added new functions to a platform that big retailers use to trace materials through their supply chains.

FedEx pilots union picks new leader after rejecting tentative deal

The FedEx Master Executive Council, the governing body of the delivery firm's unit in the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), said on Monday it had elected a new chair after union members rejected a tentative contract with the company in July.

Global business cycle is in transition

Global economic activity was mixed during the third quarter of 2023, with distinct signs of improvement in the United States and China but continued sluggishness elsewhere.

German manufacturing remains under pressure in Oct - PMI

Germany's manufacturing sector, which accounts for about a fifth of its economy, remained mired in a downturn in October due to weak demand, a survey showed on Thursday.

U.S. manufacturing sector slumps in October-ISM

U.S. manufacturing contracted sharply in October after showing signs of improvement in prior months as new orders and employment slumped, likely reflecting strikes by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union against Detroit's Big Three car makers.

U.S. business bankruptcies rose 30%, court stats show

Corporate bankruptcies in the U.S. rose by 30% over the past 12 months, according to statistics published Thursday by the U.S. court system

Asia's factories squeezed as China's nascent recovery teeters

Asia's manufacturers faced worsening pressure in October with factory activity in China slipping back into decline, clouding recovery prospects for the region's major exporters already squeezed by weaker global demand and higher prices.

OPEC oil output rises for third month, Reuters survey finds

OPEC oil output has risen for a third straight month in October, a Reuters survey found on Tuesday, led by increases in Nigeria and Angola and despite ongoing cuts by Saudi Arabia and other members of the wider OPEC+ alliance to support the market.

Myanmar mining ban hits flow of tin concentrates to China: Andy Home

China’s imports of tin concentrates collapsed in September, reflecting the suspension of mining activity in the semi-autonomous Wa state in neighbouring Myanmar.

US probes GM's Cruise robocars over pedestrian close calls

General Motors’ autonomous vehicle unit, Cruise, is facing multiple federal investigations over its cars’ safety, including two incidents where the robot cars appeared not to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, according to a U.S. regulator's letter released on Friday.

Yellen: Indo-Pacific allies should not have to choose between US, China

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday sought to reassure Asian countries that the U.S. approach to China would not lead to a 'disastrous' division of the global economy that would force them to take sides.

Mining faces gulf between ambition and reality on energy transition, China

Mining companies in the West are facing two overarching challenges in trying to produce enough metals to enable the energy transition, and at the same time build alternative supply chains to lessen their dependence on China.

Nikola receives more orders for fuel-cell truck, posts wider loss

Nikola (NKLA.O) showed progress in its shift to hydrogen-fuel cell trucks on Thursday, saying it has secured 277 non-binding orders even after battery fires rocked its business in the third quarter and pushed the company to a larger loss.

Low-cost e-commerce rivals Shein and Temu shelve US court cases

Fierce rivals Shein and PDD Holdings-owned (PDD.O) Temu have applied to end their legal fights with each other in the U.S., documents show, marking a truce even as a global market share battle between the low-price online platforms heats up.

Australia, EU say trade deal likely years away after rejecting terms

Australia has rejected European Union proposals for a free trade agreement, and a deal is now unlikely to be reached for several years, Australian government ministers said on Monday.

US to evict Gabon, Niger, Uganda and Central African Republic from trade program

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday that he intends to end the participation of Gabon, Niger, Uganda and the Central African Republic in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade program.

Ukraine boosts grain deliveries to Black Sea ports as new export route working

The success of Ukraine's new Black Sea export corridor has led to a sharp increase in the number of rail wagons heading to the ports of Odesa region, a senior railways official said on Monday.

Amazon made $1 billion through secret price raising algorithm -US FTC (AMZN.O) used a series of illegal strategies to boost profits at its online retail empire, including an algorithm that boosted prices to U.S. households by more than $1 billion, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission detailed in a new court filing on Thursday.

Home countries of major rainforests agree to work together to save them

Countries that are home to the world's three major rainforests agreed on Saturday to cooperate to overcome deforestation and safeguard biodiversity but fell short of a concrete alliance to protect the vital carbon sinks.

Walmart to upgrade 1,400 stores with $9 billion investment

U.S. retail chain Walmart (WMT.N) on Monday said it is investing more than $9 billion over a two-year period to upgrade and modernize some U.S. stores with improved layouts, expanded product selections and new tech additions.

US calls Indo-Pacific negotiating round just ahead of APEC summit

The Biden administration has called a seventh negotiating round for its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework arrangements in San Francisco next week, just ahead of a major summit of Pacific Rim leaders, the U.S. Trade Representative's office said on Wednesday.

Japan compiles $113 billion package to cushion inflation

Japan's government on Thursday compiled a package of measures to cushion the economic blow from inflation that will involve spending of more than 17 trillion yen ($113 billion), a move that could worsen the country's already tattered finances.

UK shop price inflation at lowest since August 2022 -BRC

Prices in British store chains rose at the slowest pace in more than a year in October, according to industry data that adds to signs that the country's high inflation rate will resume its fall.

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