"If the talks continue at the pace they're currently going, in principle, it's quite realistic to reach agreement by the end of February," he was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
Gold edged lower in early European trading. Geopolitical risks remain, so "the path higher for gold is there, but it will likely be a tough grind higher," Oanda reckoned.
Deutsche Bank Beats Profit Expectations, Restores Dividend
Deutsche Bank AG posted a rise in fourth-quarter profit, even though its investment-banking business took a hit from rising costs.
The better-than-expected result has paved the way for the bank to pay a dividend to shareholders for the first time since 2019.
UBS Buys Wealthfront for $1.4 Billion to Reach Rich Young Americans
UBS Group AG is buying online wealth adviser Wealthfront for $1.4 billion to reach the young rich and manage more money for people through their devices, the company said Wednesday.
UBS said it would pay cash for the digital platform, one in a clutch of startups whose assets have grown rapidly in an industry shift to automated advice. California-based Wealthfront has $27 billion under management for nearly half a million clients.
Diageo 1H Net Profit Rose on Higher Sales; Strong Growth Across All Regions
Diageo PLC said Thursday that net profit rose in the first half of fiscal 2022, boosted by higher sales volume and the strong growth of premium brands.
The London-based maker of Johnnie Walker scotch whisky, Guinness stout and Smirnoff vodka made a net profit of 1.97 billion pounds ($2.65 billion) for the six months ended Dec. 31, compared with GBP1.58 billion a year earlier.
SAP Confirms Higher 4Q Revenue as Cloud Push Continues
SAP SE said Thursday that revenue increased in the fourth quarter as its cloud business continued to grow, confirming preliminary figures from earlier this month.
Reporting on a non-IFRS basis, the German software company said total revenue climbed to 7.98 billion euros ($8.97 billion) from EUR7.54 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, with cloud revenue up to EUR2.61 billion from EUR2.04 billion but software-licenses revenue down to EUR1.46 billion from EUR1.70 billion.
EU Hits Back at China Over Trade Limits, Taking Lithuania Fight Global
BRUSSELS-The European Union hit back against China's targeting of one of the bloc's smallest members over its ties to Taiwan, opening a new front in the global battle over Beijing's use of economic pressure to advance political objectives.
The EU Thursday said it had taken China to the World Trade Organization over alleged trade restrictions that were imposed on Lithuania after the small Baltic country allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius under a name that suggests it is separate from China.
German Consumer Confidence Is Expected to Halt Its Downward Trend in February
Consumer sentiment in Germany is expected to edge up in February despite rising inflation and a surge in Covid-19 cases, according to GfK on Thursday.
GfK's forward-looking consumer sentiment index forecasts confidence among households rising to minus 6.7 in February from a revised figure of minus 6.9 in January. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal anticipated a drop to minus 8.0 points.
STMicroelectronics 4Q Net Profit Rose; Plans to Invest in Chip-Production Capacity
STMicroelectronics NV on Thursday posted higher net profit for the fourth quarter amid strong demand for semiconductors, and outlined plans to invest about $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion in capital expenditure this year to further increase production capacity.
The European chip maker said net profit climbed to $750 million from $582 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.
SEB Lifts Dividend, Plans Buybacks as 4Q Earnings Beat Expectations
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB on Thursday proposed paying a higher dividend and said it plans to undertake a share buyback program after posting a better-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter net profit.
The Sweden-based bank posted net profit of 6.2 billion Swedish kronor ($666.1 million) for the three months ended Dec. 31, up from SEK5.12 billion a year earlier and above the SEK5.94 billion forecast from analysts polled by FactSet.
EasyJet 1Q Pretax Loss Narrowed, January Bookings Jump on Easing of UK Restrictions
EasyJet PLC said Thursday that its first-quarter pretax loss narrowed despite the short-term impact of the Omicron variant in December, and that bookings jumped after the U.K. said in January that it would ease pandemic restrictions.
The budget airline said that for the period ended Dec. 31, adjusted pretax loss--a metric that strips out exceptional and other one-off items--was 213 million pounds ($286.8 million), compared with a loss of GBP426 million for the same period a year earlier.
Anglo American to Increase Copper Output in 2022 as Quellaveco Mine Kicks Off
Anglo American PLC on Thursday forecast that its copper production will significantly increase in 2022, as its Quellaveco mine in Peru is expected to achieve first output in the middle of the year.
The FTSE 100 mining company said it expects to produce between 680,000 and 760,000 metric tons of copper in 2022, and Quellaveco is expected to contribute 120,000 to 160,000 tons.
Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi Make $26 Bln Electric-Vehicle Pledge
Auto makers Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. have pledged to spend 23 billion euros ($25.85 billion) on electrification over the next five years in a push to strengthen their collaboration.
The investment is part of a plan unveiled by the French-Japanese alliance partners Thursday, which updates on the car makers' electric-vehicle strategy. The funding largely comes from investments previously announced by the companies, Renault Chief Financial Officer Clotilde Delbos said at a strategy presentation.
Banco de Sabadell Swung to 4Q Profit; Expects Higher Profitability Target in 2022
Banco de Sabadell SA swung to a profit in the fourth quarter of 2021, and said it expects to achieve its profitability target one year ahead of schedule.
The Spanish bank on Thursday reported a net profit of 161 million euros ($181 million), compared with a net loss of EUR201 million a year earlier. Profit for the quarter is well above the EUR45 million analysts' consensus forecast provided by FactSet.
Sensing Opportunity in Syria, U.A.E. Leads Arab Efforts to Do Business With Assad
The United Arab Emirates is at the leading edge of an effort in the Arab world to bring Syria in from the cold.
Government officials and business executives from the U.A.E. and Syria say the oil-rich state is attempting to normalize a closer relationship with Bashar al-Assad's regime, a decade after he was ostracized for his brutal crackdown on opponents and plunging the country into civil war.
U.K. Car Manufacturing Hits 65-Year Low
U.K. car manufacturing fell 6.7% in 2021, marking its worst year since 1956, an industry body said Thursday, blaming the drop mostly on Covid-19-related factors.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that a total of 859,575 cars drove off the production lines last year compared with 920,928 in 2020 and 707,594 in 1956.
Job Market Appears Healthy Despite Omicron Headwinds
The labor market remains tight early this year, with layoffs low and job openings plentiful, a show of strength against the disruptions caused by the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, are estimated to have fallen by 21,000 to 265,000 for the week ended Jan. 22, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.
Robust U.S. Growth Is Expected for Late 2021, but Omicron Looms Now
The U.S. economy appears to have grown robustly in the final quarter of 2021 but recently lost momentum, economists say, with business activity undermined by pandemic-induced shortages of supplies and workers.
The Commerce Department will offer a broad snapshot of the world's largest economy at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. Economists estimated the agency will report that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services, expanded at a 5.5% annual rate in the fourth quarter, according to a Wall Street Journal survey.
Chinese Fund Managers Heed State Call to Invest After Stocks Stumble
A January stock selloff has set off alarm bells in China, with state media urging big investors to hold their nerve, and several large fund houses dipping into their own capital to help support the market.
Stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen have declined in tandem with global peers recently. That has caught out investors who believed onshore markets were well set for 2022, thanks to modest valuations and a government shift toward supporting growth, after pursuing a series of corporate crackdowns.
WTO Arbiter Sides With China in Tariff Fight With U.S.
WASHINGTON-The World Trade Organization on Wednesday authorized China to impose retaliatory tariffs worth $645 million on imports from the U.S. in a decade-old dispute over Chinese subsidies to promote exports of products such as solar panels and steel pipes.
The ruling was made by a WTO arbitration panel in a case dating back to 2012. China had complained about the tariffs the U.S. imposed between 2008 and 2012 on solar panels and other products that the U.S. said were produced with unfair subsidies to state-owned companies.
The Case for $100 Oil: More Driving, Less Drilling
Wall Street's summer forecast calls for $100 oil.
A barrel hasn't cost that much since the summer of 2014, before OPEC launched a price war with U.S. shale producers and sent oil prices into a yearslong slump. Early in the pandemic, prices fell to uncharted depths. But the bust ended last year, when crude prices gained more than 50% and oil stocks led the broader market higher.
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