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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING : Stocks Drop on Economic -2-

10/21/2021 | 05:55am EST

UBS expects gold prices to edge down to $1,700 an ounce by the end of the first quarter of next year, falling to $1,600 an ounce by the end of 2022.



Barclays Profit Rises on Investment Banking

Barclays PLC said its net profit more than doubled in the third quarter, driven by a continued strong performance at its investment bank.

ABB Cuts 2021 Guidance as Revenue Hit by Supply-Chain Constraints

ABB Ltd. cut its full-year guidance as a tight supply chain bit into its revenue, despite orders climbing, the company said at its third-quarter results.

The Swiss engineering company said Thursday that it anticipates comparable revenue growth in 2021 of 6%-8%, down from "just below" 10% previously, as supply chains continued to impact customer deliveries.

Unilever 3Q Underlying Sales Rose, Backs Margin Guidance Despite Cost Inflation

Unilever PLC said Thursday that third-quarter underlying sales rose on good growth in its priority markets of the U.S., China and India, development of online shopping channels and growth of portfolio brands.

The Anglo-Dutch retailer--which owns consumer brands such as Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Dove soap--said quarterly underlying sales rose 2.5% year-on-year, and that turnover increased to 13.5 billion euros ($15.7 billion). This compares with turnover of EUR12.9 billion in the year-earlier period.

Anglo American 3Q Production Rose 2% Driven by Iron Ore, Diamonds

Anglo American PLC said Thursday that its third-quarter production increased 2%, and narrowed guidance for diamonds, copper and iron ore to the lower end of the range.

The miner produced 16.9 million metric tons of iron ore in the three months through September, up 15% from a year earlier driven by the Minas-Rio operations in Brazil.

Hermes 3Q Revenue Surged on China Sales, Europe Tourism Rebound

Hermes International SCA's revenue rose strongly in the third quarter, driven by sales in Greater China and the return of tourists to European cities.

The French luxury-fashion company on Thursday posted revenue of 2.37 billion euros ($2.76 billion) in the quarter, an increase of 31% at constant currency from the EUR1.8 billion it booked in the same period last year, and 40% higher over two years.

Russia Orders People Not to Go to Work as Covid-19 Deaths Mount

MOSCOW-Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered people to stay off work for at least a week while Latvia has introduced a monthlong Covid-19 lockdown as deaths climb, driving renewed fears of another wave of infections as winter sets in.

Mr. Putin signed a decree Wednesday approving a period of nonworking days, as the government calls them, beginning Oct. 30 and stretching to Nov. 7 to encourage people to stay home and slow the spread of the virus. Regional governments where infection rates are especially virulent can speed up or prolong the measures, with employers continuing to pay their staffs as they stay home.


China Evergrande Calls Off Plans to Sell Key Unit for $2.6 Billion

SINGAPORE-China Evergrande Group called off plans to sell a majority stake in its property-management unit for the equivalent of $2.6 billion, a major setback in the real-estate giant's attempts to ease its liquidity crunch.

The cash-strapped developer said Wednesday that it had planned to sell 50.1% of the profitable subsidiary, Evergrande Property Services Group Ltd., to a unit of rival developer Hopson Development Holdings Ltd.

Chinese Developer Defaults Pile Up as Evergrande Contagion Spreads

HONG KONG-The pain is spreading in the market for Chinese junk bonds.

Dollar-bond defaults from Chinese property developers are rising quickly as the country's housing market slumps, and the problem could worsen as a wave of debt from the beleaguered industry comes due in the coming months.

Tight Labor Market Keeps Jobless Claims Near Pandemic Lows

Unemployment claims are trending near the lowest levels since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, as companies are reluctant to lay off workers amid labor shortages.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate jobless claims ticked up to 300,000 last week from a pandemic low of 293,000 a week earlier. Claims, a proxy for layoffs, are holding well below a recent peak of 424,000 in mid-July but remain above 2019's weekly average of 218,000.

Crypto Miners Struggle to Cut Carbon Emissions

Bitcoin mining has earned a bad reputation for guzzling cheap electricity in the pursuit of profit. Now bitcoin miners are trying to go green, to a point.

Companies that mine bitcoin are aiming to power their computers with renewable energy or sign up for data centers that rely on the sun or wind. Falling prices for renewables and rising prices for bitcoin make it possible to still earn a profit.

Critics Blast Private Equity at Senate Hearing

At a Senate hearing Wednesday, private-equity critics denounced what they characterized as buyout managers' abusive practices, as some Democratic lawmakers seek to rein in the rapidly growing industry.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) led the hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, at which workers, an academic and a state treasurer loosed volleys of criticism against private-equity managers and asked lawmakers to increase federal oversight of them.

Fed Official Says Lingering Inflation Could Change Interest-Rate Outlook

A top Federal Reserve official warned that extended high inflation through next spring could force the central bank to consider raising interest rates sooner than anticipated.

Fed governor Randal Quarles said Wednesday he still expects higher prices to ease next year as bottlenecks and supply-chain disruptions fade. If the Fed raised rates in response to recent price surges driven by the economic reopening, the central bank could constrict demand at the same moment that supply bottlenecks abate, Mr. Quarles said during a moderated discussion at a conference in Los Angeles. That could lead to undesirably low levels of inflation and employment.

U.S. Growth Slowed in Recent Months Amid Elevated Prices, Fed's Beige Book Says

U.S. economic growth slowed to a modest to moderate rate this fall as firms confronted supply-chain disruptions, elevated prices, a shortage of available workers and fears around the Delta variant of Covid-19, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

Many businesses said they expected higher prices and supply shortages to last another year or so. The report, known as the Beige Book, collects anecdotes from businesses in Fed districts around the country.

Write to paul.larkins@dowjones.com

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-21-21 0554ET

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