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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING : Stocks Gain; Rising -2-

10/05/2021 | 06:35am EST

Gold prices dropped as bond yields ticked higher and the dollar strengthened. Central bank gold buying has slowed to its lowest level this year, according to the World Gold Council.

Central banks bought 28.4 metric tons of gold in August, 9% less than the previous month. While central banks remain positive on gold, their demand for the precious metal will likely stay at a modest level for now, Krishan Gopaul, the WGC's market intelligence manager said.

Copper prices fell as the dollar strengthens though trading is light as markets in China are closed for a holiday. Three-month copper on the LME was down 1.2% at $9,166 a metric ton.

Traders are contending with "a background of a quieter than expected demand for metal in general in Q4 as economies slow down, as inflation hits in and, supply chain issues disrupt production of goods in general, " said Malcolm Freeman, CEO of brokerage Kingdom Futures.

EMEA HEADLINES

Eurozone Economic Growth Slows Further in September, PMIs Show

Eurozone economic growth slowed for a second consecutive month in September, marking a further retreat from the 15-year peak recorded in July, as supply-chain shortages impeded both manufacturing and service sector output, IHS Markit said.

The eurozone composite purchasing managers index fell to 56.2 in September from 59.0 in August. Although indicative of a strong expansion in business activity, it marked a considerable slowdown from the expansions seen between June and August, which were among the fastest in 23 years of data collection, IHS Markit said.

Infineon Technologies Expects Strong Revenue Rise in FY 2022

Infineon Technologies AG on Tuesday provided an outlook for its current fiscal year, forecasting revenue to rise strongly and targeting a segment result margin of around 20%.

The German chip maker said it forecasts revenue for the year from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2022, to grow by a mid-teens percentage and the margin for the segment result to be around 20%. Both targets are based on an exchange rate of $1.20 to the euro.

French Industrial Production Rose More Than Expected in August

France's industrial production increased in August, beating forecasts despite supply shortages, according to data released Tuesday by the country's statistics agency Insee.

Total industrial output--comprising output in manufacturing, energy and construction--rose 1.0% in August compared with July. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.5% rise.

BIC Shares Take a Dive After Reported Selloff

Shares in French stationary maker Societe BIC slumped Tuesday after a selloff of more than 2 million shares by a Swedish insurance company, according to a person close to the matter.

At 0755 GMT, shares traded 7.8% lower at EUR47.50.

Swiss Re Estimates Its Preliminary Claims Burden From Hurricane Ida at Around $750M

Swiss Re AG said Tuesday that its preliminary claims burden from Hurricane Ida is expected to be around $750 million.

The Swiss reinsurer also said that on an industry level it estimates total insured market losses from the hurricane at between $28 billion and $30 billion.

AstraZeneca Requests US FDA Emergency Use Authorization for Covid-19 Prophylaxis

AstraZeneca PLC said Tuesday that it has requested an Emergency Use Authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its Covid-19 prophylaxis AZD7442.

If granted, AZD7442 would be the first long-acting antibody to receive an EUA for Covid-19 prevention, AstraZeneca said.

Covid-19 Booster Shots Win Broad Backing From European Regulator

Europe's top health regulator issued a broad endorsement of Covid-19 vaccine booster shots, diverging from U.S. officials' more limited recommendation, and paving the way for more countries across the continent to offer additional doses to the already vaccinated.

An expert committee for the European Medicines Agency said Monday that the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. with BioNTech SE could be given as a booster to those aged 18 and over, at least six months after their second dose. It is still evaluating data for booster shots of Moderna Inc.'s vaccine, but said that it or Pfizer's shot could be administered to people with weakened immune systems at least 28 days after their second dose.

GLOBAL NEWS

Cotton Prices Surge to Highest Level in a Decade

Cotton futures are trading at their highest price in about a decade, with growing Chinese demand being met in part by rising U.S. exports to China, a curiosity of Trump-era trade-war policies.

Most-active U.S. cotton futures trading on the Intercontinental Exchange closed Monday up 0.4% at $1.05 a pound, keeping prices at their highest level since September 2011. Prices have risen 18% higher over the past 10 sessions. Higher clothing prices could eventually follow.

SEC's Gensler Aims to Save Investors Money by Squeezing Wall Street

WASHINGTON-Wall Street's new overseer has outlined an aggressive regulatory agenda that threatens to squeeze the financial industry's profit margins.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler is working on tougher rules for high-speed trading firms, private-equity managers, mutual funds and online brokerages. Mr. Gensler, less than six months on the job, says he wants to make the capital markets less costly for companies raising money as well as for ordinary investors saving for retirement. His main targets are what he says are profits and salaries earned above what a purely competitive market would allow, known as economic rents.

Derby's Take: Fed Dove Games Out How Rate Increases Can Address Supply Shock Inflation

Federal Reserve officials have said repeatedly that if inflation proves to be persistently high, they have the tools to bring it under control. The problem for the Fed is that the current surge of inflation may be of a type not well suited for the main inflation fighting remedy: interest rate increases.

The inflation surge striking the U.S. economy stems largely from supply shortages, not excessive demand. When supply problems are pushing up inflation, it is far from clear that raising short-term borrowing costs would be able to do much to rebalance the situation.

RBA Remains Dovish, Warns on House Prices

SYDNEY-The Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday kept official interest rates at record lows, while sounding a warning about soaring house prices, hinting that a tightening of mortgage lending regulation to calm the housing market is under consideration.

"The Council of Financial Regulators has been discussing the medium-term risks to macroeconomic stability of rapid credit growth at a time of historically low interest rates," RBA Gov. Philip Lowe said in a statement after the central bank's board meeting.

Empty Buildings in China's Provincial Cities Testify to Evergrande Debacle

LU'AN, China-Rows of residential towers, some 26 stories high, stand unfinished in this provincial city about 350 miles west of Shanghai, their plastic tarps flapping in the wind.

Elsewhere in Lu'an, golden Pegasus statues guard an uncompleted $9 billion theme park that was supposed to be bigger than Disneyland. A planned $4 billion electric-vehicle plant, central to local leaders' economic dreams, remains a steel frame with overgrown vegetation spilling into the road.

Schumer Sets Up Vote on Debt Ceiling After Saying It Must Be Raised by End of Week

WASHINGTON-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up a vote by Wednesday on increasing the federal government's borrowing ceiling, but didn't lay out how Democrats planned to pass a bill without Republican votes.

Mr. Schumer warned earlier Monday that lawmakers must act by the end of the week to avoid any repercussions. "Let me be clear about the task ahead of us: we must get a bill to the president's desk dealing with the debt limit by the end of the week. Period," Mr. Schumer (D., N.Y.) wrote in a letter to his Democratic colleagues.

Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen Set to Appear Before Senate Panel

WASHINGTON-Frances Haugen, who gathered internal documents showing how Facebook Inc.'s Instagram app led to depression and anxiety in many teenage girls, is set to appear Tuesday before a Senate panel that is looking to toughen the law protecting children online.

The Instagram disclosures, along with other documents Ms. Haugen gathered while employed at Facebook, formed the foundation of The Wall Street Journal's Facebook Files series.

Singapore Set to Increase Control Over Online Content

SINGAPORE-The country's legislature approved a bill that targets foreign influence campaigns by giving Singapore's government new powers over internet content, despite criticism that officials could use them to stifle dissent.

Proponents said the bill, which was passed late Monday and awaits the president's signature, would stop foreigners and their local proxies from using social media and messaging apps to interfere in Singapore's affairs. Opponents said it just as easily could allow the government of the Southeast Asian nation, ruled since independence by a single party, to block the views of critics, cut their funding and snoop on their online activities.

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Trio for Study of Complex Systems, Including Climate Change

The Nobel Prize in Physics was jointly awarded to three scientists, including Syukuro Manabe of Princeton University and Germany's Klaus Hasselmann for their work on modeling the Earth's climate.

The prize was shared with a third scientist, Giorgio Parisi of Italy, for his work on the theory of disordered materials and random processes.

China Flies a Dozen Bombers Near Taiwan, Prompting Protest From Taipei

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

10-05-21 0634ET

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