(RTTNews) - Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Thursday in holiday-thinned trade following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street amid optimism about U.S. fiscal stimulus after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they will continue talks on a new coronavirus relief bill.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan has suspended trading due to a technical issue, while the markets in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong are closed for holidays.
The Australian market is rising following the overnight gains on Wall Street and as data showed that the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand at a faster rate in September.
According to reports, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to announce later today that his government will make A$1.5 billion available to Australian manufacturers across six priority areas to boost production of goods in Australia.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is advancing 44.20 points or 0.76 percent to 5,860.10, off a high of 5,869.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 48.00 points or 0.80 percent to 6,057.30. Australian stocks closed sharply lower on Wednesday.
Among the major miners, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are rising more than 2 percent each, while Rio Tinto is advancing 2 percent.
In the oil sector, Oil Search is advancing more than 1 percent, while Santos and Woodside Petroleum are adding almost 1 percent each after crude oil prices rose overnight.
The big four banks - ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank - are higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent.
In the tech space, Afterpay is advancing more than 1 percent and WiseTech Global is rising almost 1 percent, while Appen is down 0.2 percent.
Gold miners are mixed after gold prices declined overnight. Evolution Mining is rising 0.4 percent, while Newcrest Mining is down 0.4 percent.
In economic news, the latest survey from IHS Markit showed that the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in September, and at a faster rate, with a manufacturing PMI score of 55.4. That's up from 53.6 in August and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore and Indonesia are rising more than 1 percent each, while New Zealand is also higher and Malaysia is lower. The markets in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong are closed for the Mid-Autumn Festival, while South Korea is closed for the Chuseok Festival.
On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Wednesday in volatile trading amid uncertainty about a potential agreement on a new coronavirus stimulus bill. The pullback by the major averages came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans and Democrats remain "far apart" on a deal. However, stocks rebounded as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed to reach an agreement after a meeting today, but indicated talks would continue.
The Dow jumped 329.04 points or 1.2 percent to 27,781.70, the Nasdaq climbed 82.26 points or 0.7 percent to 11,167.51 and the S&P 500 advanced 27.53 points or 0.8 percent to 3,363.00.
Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on Wednesday. While the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both fell by 0.5 percent.
Crude oil prices rebounded after early weakness on Wednesday as data showed a drop in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended September 25. WTI crude for November added $0.93 or about 2.4 percent at $40.22 a barrel.
Elon Musk has landed in hot water for his love of memes in the past.
Susan Walsh/Associated PressTesla will reduce the price of its Model S sedan to $69,420, the company's CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted Wednesday.
The move came the same day that Lucid Motors, a luxury-EV startup, announced that its base Air sedan will cost $69,900 after federal tax incentives.
Musk said the price change would occur "tonight," but it's unclear if he was serious or not.
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After slashing the cost of the Model S earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans for yet another price drop on Wednesday, but it's still not clear if he's serious this time around.
Tesla will reduce the MSRP of its flagship luxury sedan to $69,420 "tonight," the CEO tweeted on Wednesday.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 14, 2020
If the change comes to bear, the starting MSRP of a Tesla Model S will have dropped by $5,570 this week alone. On Tuesday, Tesla trimmed the sedan's sticker price by $3,000 for the "long range" and "performance" models.
Musk's tweet came the same day that Lucid Motors, an up-and-coming challenger to Tesla in the luxury EV space, announced that the base version of its Air sedan will cost $69,900 after the $7,500 US federal tax credit. At a release event in September, Lucid said the entry-level Air would start somewhere around $80,000, but didn't reveal detailed pricing until Wednesday.
According to Lucid, the base-model Air will have a single motor, 480 horsepower, and a 406-mile range, beating out the range of the Model S by just four miles.
The numbers 69 and 420, the latter of which is a reference to pot-smoking culture, have become memes among Tesla's fans and for Musk himself. In July, Tesla began selling short shorts — to poke fun at short sellers — which cost $69.420 per pair.
But Musk's fondness for the number 420 has landed him in hot water in the past. In 2018, Musk tweeted that he had secured the funding to take Tesla private at $420 per share, sparking a US Securities and Exchange Commission probe that resulted in a $40 million settlement from Musk and Tesla.
Tesla did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
Mobile networks startup Celona, founded by four telecom veterans, just launched out of stealth with a $30 million Series B for products that make it easier for enterprises to use networks that are faster, more reliable, and more secure than 4G: Private 5G networks.
Celona's cloud software makes 5G private networks 10 times cheaper than they would otherwise be, the firm claims.
In its 18 months, Celona has raised a total of $40 million and is valued at $109 million, according to Pitchbook.
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Big companies long anticipated the arrival of 5G private networks. While the promise of 5G networks is speedier connections, a private 5G network means more privacy and that a firm also wouldn't have to deal with anyone else using the network and slowing things down. This opens up a wealth of possibilities, like factories automating high-risk procedures without worrying about lag or hospitals sending sensitive medical information to labs securely.
At the end of 2019, Deloitte analysts predicted that more than a hundred companies would experiment with private 5G networks by the end of this year. Companies like Ford and Honeywell are already testing them in their warehouses and factories to make processes more efficient.
Now, a fresh-from-stealth startup called Celona wants to take a bite out of the 5G enterprise market, which market research firm Polaris estimates is worth $1.32 billion. The startup has raised a $30 million Series B round of funding for a slew of products that aims to make private 5G networks more easily accessible to factories, security firms, warehouses, and other enterprises. While the firm declined to share its valuation, PitchBook lists it at $109 million.
All four of the firm's founders have backgrounds in connectivity and telecommunications. Mehmet Yavuz — the former CTO of networking firm Ruckus Networks and, before that, former VP of engineering at Qualcomm specializing in private networks — conceptualized the idea with Rajeev Shah — who worked at wireless networking firm Aruba Networks for 12 years — while the duo was in Barcelona (hence its name). They cofounded the company in 2019 along with Aruba engineers Vinay Anneboina and Ravi Mulam.
"It is our somewhat geeky, nerdy belief that connectivity tends to be this invisible driver of innovation," Celona CEO Shah said. "A lot of us spent a lot of time in WiFi and when we get among ourselves, we joke that the iPhone wouldn't have happened but for us."
5G, by design, is faster, more secure, and more reliable than WiFi, which buffers, lags, and is prone to hacks – which could lead to disaster in an automated factory. 5G private networks are giving enterprises added security and "getting rid of all of the — for lack of a better word — compromises we've gotten used to with wireless," Shah said.
Celona touts itself as the first 5G platform company geared specifically for enterprises, not the general market. Consumers don't require the level of customizability and security as enterprise companies do, Shah said: The stakes are much higher for enterprises if a network fails.
"Inside the enterprise, it is a lot more complex environment," Shah said. "Just visualize a manufacturing plant and the network for them. That is not the same as us just running Netflix and YouTube on our LTE network."
The Federal Communications Commission released a band of spectrum in January known as CBRS, which is considered the "innovation band" that carriers and companies can use for free to experiment with 5G networks. It's a far cry from how spectrum is traditionally released: Usually companies like Verizon or AT&T have to bid billions of dollars to control and license it. This system allows private 5G networks to be affordable for enterprises, Shah said.
Celona works with a spectrum administrator to offer access to its customers, who then use the spectrum through Celona's combination of cloud software and hardware access points, which can be placed wherever the company wants them. Those access points connect to companies' existing cloud infrastructure like Azure and AWS through its Celona Edge software, where companies can manage everything. The firm will charge customers monthly subscription fees and has a partnership with Aruba Networks (now owned by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise) to resell its line of products.
Celona's software-heavy product minimizes hardware use, making the total cost of private networks 10 times cheaper than they would otherwise be, according to Shah.
Celona isn't the only one in the telecommunications industry putting an emphasis on software: Nokia and Intel, two large hardware suppliers, are incorporating more software in their lines of 5G products and using hardware only where necessary.
"You went with a certain kind of hardware and you just had to stick with it," Futurum Research analyst Dan Newman said, referring to how networks used to be set up. Now, "when you want to scale deployments, we realized the fastest way to scale with IT is essentially through cloud deployments, flexible networks."
The 18-month-old company previously raised $10 million last year and Qualcomm Ventures and NTT Venture Capital led the Series B round.
The fresh funding will go to, among other things, growing its sales teams across the country, which has swelled from four to 40 since its inception.