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PSA's China JV to close 2 plants, cut 4,000 jobs; Daimler faces €1B diesel fine


* Peugeot SA parent Groupe PSA and its Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Ltd. agreed to close two of their four shared assembly plants in China, a move that would see its workforce halved to 4,000 in the next three years, Reuters reported, citing a company document. Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co. Ltd., the two companies' Chinese joint venture, will close its original assembly plant, Wuhan 1, and sell its Wuhan 2 plant under plans agreed to between PSA Chairman and CEO Carlos Tavares and Dongfeng Chairman Zhu Yanfeng in July, the report said.

* Daimler AG is facing a fine of up to €1 billion for diesel-related violations from prosecutors in Stuttgart, Germany, Reuters reported, citing German magazine Der Spiegel. A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said the investigation would not be completed before the end of 2019, Reuters said. Daimler did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.


* Toyota Motor Corp. plans to introduce a device that reduces vehicle acceleration in certain circumstances in a bid to prevent accidents caused by drivers mistakenly pressing the accelerator instead of the brake, Bloomberg News reported, citing Japanese newspaper Yomiuri. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for action to address the rising number of fatalities caused by older drivers who are reportedly mistaking the accelerator for the brake.


* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. are planning to roll out their electric vehicles in South Africa, Bloomberg News reported, citing the CEO of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa Mike Mabasa. By the end of 2019, the automakers will request that the government waives or reduces a 23% import tax on electric vehicles and rolls out charging infrastructure.

* A Tesla Inc. Model 3 vehicle exploded near Moscow after crashing into a tow truck while Autopilot was engaged, Electrek reported, citing local media outlet Zvezda. Two U.S. safety bodies are investigating fatal Tesla crashes as China continues to investigate two incidents of Tesla vehicles catching fire and exploding.


* Uber Technologies Inc. initiated a hiring freeze for tech jobs in the U.S. and Canada as the ride-hailing giant works to recover from its $5.24 billion net loss for the second quarter, Bloomberg News reported, citing a company statement. An Uber spokesman told Bloomberg that the company has put a pause on hiring software engineers and product managers, adding that its existing teams had already exceeded their hiring goals for the year.

* Japanese carmaker Nissan expanded its local car-sharing service, e-Share Mobi, to Okuma in Fukushima. E-Share Mobi was launched in December 2018 in three other areas in Fukushima and uses a fleet of Nissan's electric Leaf vehicles.


* Beijing Hyundai Motors Co. Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co.'s joint venture with Chinese state-owned Beijing Automotive Group Co. Ltd., is recalling 400,377 Tucson vehicles over concerns of potential engine damage, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing China's quality regulator.


* German auto-parts maker Continental AG said it has submitted a plan of action to reduce the lead content in some of its electronic components to meet legal maximum amounts mandated by the European Union. Continental said it discovered in June slight excesses of lead in some components, including printed circuit boards.


* China's July vehicle sales fell 4.3% year over year to 1,808,000 units, marking the 13th consecutive month of declines, Gasgoo reported. For the first time in more than two years, the country's new-energy vehicle sales fell, down 4.7% year over year to 80,000 units, Reuters reported.

* Chinese electric-vehicle maker NIO Inc. sold 837 vehicles in July, down from 1,340 vehicles in June, after a recall hampered its production and delivery efforts. On June 27, the company was forced to recall 4,803 ES8s that could spontaneously combust.

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The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.44% to 25,824.72, and the Nikkei 225 gained 0.44% to 20,684.82.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.38% to 7,226.47, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.34% to 1,034.76.

On the macro front

The U.S. Treasury budget is 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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