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EMEA Morning Briefing: Shares to Tumble Again as -2-

01/19/2022 | 12:40am EDT

Demand for oil was stronger than expected in the final three months of 2021, as rising Covid-19 cases failed to diminish global appetite for crude or result in significant mobility restrictions, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday.

The major oil producers group raised its demand forecasts by 260,000 barrels a day for the fourth quarter of last year, as demand in wealthier nations, particularly for transport fuels, was stronger-than-expected despite the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Oil Prices Hit Seven-Year High on Rising Geopolitical Tensions

Crude prices rose to their highest level since the 2014 shale-induced oil crash, a milestone in a rally that is gathering momentum as geopolitical tensions threaten to knock supply.

Futures for West Texas Intermediate, the main grade of U.S. crude, added $1.61 per barrel, or 1.9%, to $85.43 on Tuesday. That marks the highest closing level since October 2014, when oil prices were moving in the opposite direction as a gusher of U.S. crude flooded the market.

EQT Aims to Raise Almost $23 Billion for Buyout Fund

EQT AB expects to raise at least EUR20 billion, equivalent to about $22.81 billion, for a 10th buyout fund to further expand its U.S. presence, according to a person familiar with the matter.

If EQT meets its target, the new fund, EQT X, would be more than 28% larger than its predecessor. The Stockholm investment firm raised EUR15.6 billion for EQT IX, its ninth main buyout pool, less than a year ago.

BHP Metallurgical Coal Operations Disrupted by Australia Covid-19 Surge

BHP Group Ltd. said a surge in Covid-19 cases in Australia is causing a shortage of workers at its coal pits that will likely constrain how much steelmaking coal the world's No. 1 miner can produce in its fiscal year.

BHP, which in eastern Australia runs the world's biggest metallurgical coal export operations in joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp., on Wednesday reported an 8% fall in first-half production of the commodity, to 17.7 million metric tons. That prompted the miner to downgrade its full-year production forecast to 38 million-41 million tons, from a prior 39 million-44 million ton estimate.

Houthis Fired Drones and Missiles in Abu Dhabi Attack, Investigation Finds

Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen used advanced missiles and drones to target the United Arab Emirates on Monday, according to people briefed on the investigation-a deadly demonstration of the expanding threat to Middle East security posed by Tehran's emboldened allies.

The Houthi strike amounted to the most visible display of the military advancements made by a militia that less than a decade ago relied on machine guns and rocket launchers but now can help Iran project power almost 1,000 miles away from their Yemeni mountain strongholds. The Houthis have hit the U.A.E. before, but this was the first time the Emiratis acknowledged it.

U.S. Aims Sanctions at Pro-Russian Agents as Blinken Plans Ukraine, Russia Meetings

The U.S. is preparing financial sanctions on pro-Russian agents in Ukraine as Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Europe to meet the Ukrainian leadership and his Russian counterpart, part of a show of diplomacy and pressure that Washington hopes will dissuade Russia from invading its neighbor, U.S. officials said.

As pressure mounts for the U.S. and its European allies to take swift action to deter Russian escalation, the coming action against individuals in Ukraine rather than the Russian government underscores some of the administration's interest in exhausting diplomatic avenues with Moscow, officials said. The U.S. and its allies hope for a diplomatic breakthrough after four rounds of talks last week failed to narrow the gap between Moscow and Western nations.

Apple Says Senate's Big-Tech Legislation Would Weaken Its User-Privacy Push

Apple Inc. is warning that Senate legislation aimed at reining in large tech companies would weaken a privacy-protection tool that it rolled out last year and has already stung Facebook, Snapchat and other online-ad businesses reliant on user data to target messages.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to debate a bipartisan bill, dubbed the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, on Thursday that supporters say aims to protect digital competition. The legislation is set to limit the power of the biggest U.S. tech companies, including Apple, Inc., Google-parent Alphabet Inc. and Facebook's Meta Platforms Inc.

Activision Blizzard's Workplace Problems Spurred $75 Billion Microsoft Deal

When allegations of a toxic workplace at Activision Blizzard Inc. surfaced last year and investors fled the video-gaming giant's stock, Microsoft Corp. rushed in.

A California regulatory agency had sued Activision in July alleging widespread sexual harassment. Then a Wall Street Journal article in November reported that longtime Chief Executive Bobby Kotick knew about allegations of employee misconduct across Activision that he didn't brief the board on, adding to pressure on the company and its stock.

Pfizer's New Covid-19 Pill Works Against Omicron in Lab

Pfizer Inc.'s new Covid-19 pill, Paxlovid, was effective against the Omicron variant in laboratory tests, an encouraging early sign the drug will be an important tool while the strain spreads.

Pfizer said Tuesday the drug's main component, nirmatrelvir, worked in three separate laboratory studies. Patients take two tablets of nirmatrelvir with one tablet of another antiviral called ritonavir twice a day for five days.

Goldman Pays Up for Talent, Sending Profits Down

The bill has come due for Wall Street's deal-making spree, and it is being sent by human resources.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Tuesday it shelled out an additional $4.4 billion in compensation in 2021, sending the bank to its only quarterly profit decline of the year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Friday said it had spent an additional $3.6 billion on compensation in 2021, and Citigroup Inc. spent an additional $2.9 billion, dragging down its fourth-quarter profit as well.

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Expected Major Events for Wednesday

00:01/UK: Dec Scottish Retail Sales Monitor

07:00/GER: Dec CPI

07:00/UK: Dec UK producer prices

07:00/UK: Dec UK monthly inflation figures

09:00/FRA: Jan IEA Oil Market Report

09:00/EU: Nov Euro area balance of payments

09:30/UK: Oct Card Spending statistics

09:30/UK: Nov UK House Price Index

10:00/EU: Nov Construction output

10:00/ITA: Nov Balance of Payments

10:00/GRE: Nov Labour Force Survey

11:00/IRL: Dec CPI

17:59/POR: Nov Balance of Payments

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This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-19-22 0040ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, INC. -0.44% 77.4 Delayed Quote.16.34%
ALPHABET INC. -1.34% 2178.16 Delayed Quote.-24.81%
APPLE INC. 0.17% 137.59 Delayed Quote.-22.52%
BHP GROUP LIMITED 2.05% 47.18 Delayed Quote.13.69%
CITIGROUP INC. -0.06% 49.75 Delayed Quote.-17.62%
EQT AB (PUBL) 1.54% 269.8 Delayed Quote.-45.27%
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. -0.82% 117.34 Delayed Quote.-25.29%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.94% 112.54 Delayed Quote.42.93%
META PLATFORMS, INC. 1.18% 193.54 Delayed Quote.-42.46%
MICROSOFT CORPORATION -0.23% 252.56 Delayed Quote.-24.90%
MITSUBISHI CORPORATION 2.33% 4356 Delayed Quote.19.28%
ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION 0.70% 56.46 Delayed Quote.-16.87%
PFIZER, INC. 3.59% 52.47 Delayed Quote.-11.14%
S&P 500 0.01% 3901.36 Real-time Quote.-18.14%
SNAP INC. 0.26% 23.26 Delayed Quote.-50.54%
THE GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP, INC. -0.45% 306.8 Delayed Quote.-19.80%
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) 0.00% 61.75 Delayed Quote.-17.11%
WTI 1.22% 110.515 Delayed Quote.44.84%
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