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TOP NEWS

* General Motors Co. and United Auto Workers are close to a tentative deal that could end the nearly monthlong strike as Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and GM President Mark Reuss met with the union officials Oct. 15, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated that GM has missed out on about $2 billion of earnings as a result of the strike, which will cost striking workers about $2,000 of profit sharing and as much as $4,000 in net take-home pay, Bloomberg News reported.

* Tata Motors Ltd. is open to partners for its Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC brand but is not planning to sell the business, Bloomberg News reported, citing an interview with Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Motors and the Tata Group's holding entity, Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd.

CARMAKERS

* General Motors Co. said it teamed up with the U.S. Army to improve their respective automotive cybersecurity capabilities over the next two years.

* Toyota Motor Corp. will offer its latest-generation Yaris small-segment car without diesel powertrains. It will be the first compact car to employ Toyota New Global Architecture, a three-cylinder engine with a lithium-ion battery that reduces CO2 emissions by 20% more than the outgoing hybrid.

* Romania initiated fresh talks with Volkswagen AG after the carmaker announced it had postponed a final decision on whether to build a new plant in Turkey, Reuters reported, citing Romania trade minister Stefan Radu Oprea.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

* The Chinese government wants to end state subsidies for fuel cell vehicles by the end of 2020 because the fuel cell industry "has not achieved any breakthroughs and rapid development despite the financial support," electrive.com reported, citing the Chinese Ministry of Finance. Beijing previously announced the end of subsidies for battery electric vehicles.

MOBILITY SERVICES

* Uber Technologies Inc.'s Jump, Ford Motor Co.'s Spin, Lime and Bird's Scoot officially deployed their electric scooters on the streets of San Francisco as part of the city's permitting program, TechCrunch reported. The new program allows Scoot to operate 1,000 scooters, down from the 1,250 it had previously operated, while Jump, Spin and Lime will be able to deploy 500 each.

* Taxi drivers in the Serbian capital Belgrade blocked the city center Oct. 15 to protest the impact of an Uber-like ride-sharing service provider, Car:Go, and called on the government to ban it, Reuters reported.

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* Two U.S. senators on Oct. 16 plan to introduce bipartisan legislation that would require automakers to install technology that would prevent drunk drivers from starting a vehicle within four years of the bill's passage, Reuters reported.

AUTOMOTIVE RETAIL

* European car registrations rose 14.5% to 1.2 million cars in September, largely due to a low base of comparison, as registrations fell 23.5% in September 2018 following the introduction of the new emission testing regime, WLTP, according to industry data published by European car industry association ACEA.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.61% to 26,664.28, and the Nikkei 225 went up 1.20% to 22,472.92.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 lost 0.12% to 7,201.94, and the Euronext 100 was essentially flat at 1,100.88.

On the macro front

The retail sales report, the Atlanta Fed business inflation expectations report, the business inventories report, the housing market index, the Beige Book and the Treasury international capital report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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