SoftBank’s Vision Fund has made another massive bet on autonomous driving technology, this time leading a $940m investment into, a maker of robot delivery vans.

The group was founded in 2016 by two veterans of Google’s self-driving car team, now known as Waymo, after they decided delivering groceries was a more achievable goal for autonomous vehicles than passenger-carrying robo-taxis.

The deal will add to SoftBank’s expanding portfolio in the transportation-technology market, following its Vision Fund’s $2.3bn investment in General Motors’ self-driving car unit. It also holds stakes in ride-hailing services such as Uber and is part of a joint venture with Toyota to provide mobility services, including food deliveries.

On Wall Street overnight, stocks struggled to maintain momentum from equities in other regions as US-China trade talks once again got under way, with the S&P 500 closing just 0.1 per cent higher.

In Asia-Pacific equities, futures tip Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 to rise 0.4 per cent at the open, while Tokyo’s Topix is set to gain shed 0.2 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is expected to drop 0.1 per cent when trading begins.

Corporate earnings reports out today include Nissan Motor, Hutchison Port HoldingsShimano, Rakuten and Inpex.

The economic calendar for Tuesday is an original, accept no substitutes (all times Hong Kong):

  • 07.50: Japan M2 money supply
  • 08.30: Australia home loans, NAB business confidence index
  • 09.00: Philippines imports, exports and trade balance
  • 13.00: Singapore retail sales
  • 14.00: Japan machine tool orders (preliminary)
  • 16.00: Taiwan consumer and wholesale price indices
  • 20.00: India consumer price index, industrial production

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