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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING : Stocks Slide as Bond -2-

07/08/2021 | 06:19am EDT

The European Union has imposed a fine of 875.19 million euros ($1.03 billion) on Volkswagen AG and BMW AG for restricting competition in emission cleaning for new diesel passenger cars.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said Thursday that Daimler AG, BMW and Volkswagen, which owns Audi and Porsche, colluded on the technical development in the area of nitrogen oxide cleaning, breaching EU antitrust rules.

Deliveroo Raises 2021 Gross Transaction Value Guidance, But Sees Margin Hit

Deliveroo PLC on Thursday raised its guidance for 2021 after a strong first-half performance, but said that gross profit margin will be at the lower end of its previous expectations due to investment.

The U.K. food-delivery company said it now expects full-year growth in its gross transaction value of between 50% and 60%, higher than its previous guidance of between 30% and 40%.

TeamViewer Shares Tumble After Billings Miss Growth Target

Shares in TeamViewer AG tumbled Thursday after the company said that second-quarter billings growth was below target and that it has confirmed its outlook for the year toward the lower end of the expected range.

TeamViewer, which makes software that allows remote maintenance of computers and other devices, said billings--its preferred metric--rose roughly 15% and 18% at constant currencies to 121.6 million euros ($143.3 million). That is below company projections of at least 20% quarterly billings growth.

Entain Sees Full-Year Earnings Ahead of Views After 2Q Revenue Rise

Entain PLC said Thursday that it expects earnings for the full year to be ahead of current consensus forecasts after total net gaming revenue for the second quarter rose benefiting from the reopening of its retail estate.

The Ladbrokes owner said it expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for 2021 to be between 850 million and 900 million pounds ($1.17 billion-$1.24 billion).

Danske Bank Raises 2021 Net Profit Guidance

Danish lender Danske Bank AS on Thursday raised its 2021 net profit guidance as a faster-than-anticipated macroeconomic recovery has led to lower-than-expected loan impairment charges as well as higher customer activity.

"In addition, we expect a gain from the sale of the business activities in Luxembourg that will, however, be off-set by a number of provisions for extraordinary tax-related items in the second half of the year," Chief Executive Carsten Egeriis said.

German Exports Rose in May in Line With Expectations

German exports continued their gradual recovery in May despite the continuation of some lockdown restrictions.

Rio Tinto Taps Former Unilever Compliance Officer for Top Legal Post

Rio Tinto PLC has recruited a former compliance officer for Unilever PLC and Nestlé SA to serve as its chief legal officer, overseeing compliance issues for a company that has been at the center of high-stakes legal battles and reputational crises in recent years.

Isabelle Deschamps, who currently serves as general counsel for the Dutch paints and performance coatings company Akzo Nobel NV, will join the Anglo-Australian mining company in October, Rio Tinto said Wednesday.


Unemployment Claims Have Continued Easing as Hiring Heats Up

New applications for unemployment benefits have trended down this summer, indicating that the labor market is healing from the Covid-19 downturn as many states end participation in enhanced jobless assistance programs related to the pandemic.

Economists estimate that first-time applications for unemployment benefits declined to a seasonally adjusted 350,000 for the week ended July 3, from 364,000 during the prior week, according to a Wall Street Journal survey. The Labor Department is set to report the latest figures at 8:30 a.m. ET. The prior week's level was the lowest recorded since jobless claims surged at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

Borrowing Is Back as Sign-Ups for Auto Loans, Credit Cards Hit Records

Americans are borrowing again, in some cases at levels not seen in more than a decade.

Consumer demand for auto loans and leases, general-purpose credit cards and personal loans was up 39% in April compared with the same period last year, according to credit-reporting firm Equifax Inc. It was also up 11% compared with April 2019, according to Equifax, which measured how often lenders checked consumers' credit reports to make loan decisions.

RBA Governor Says International Border Closure Could Fuel Surge in Wages

Australia could face a surge in wages growth and inflation if the closure of the country's international borders to foreign workers continues for some time, Reserve Bank of Australia Gov. Philip Lowe said Thursday.

In a speech to economists, Mr. Lowe said the most significant challenge to labor supply in the country was the closed border, which has normally been a major source of skilled workers for the economy over many decades.

Fed's Bostic Says Time to Taper Is Growing Nearer, but Won't Put Date on It

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said that the time is getting closer for the U.S. central bank to pull back on its monthly $120 billion bond-buying stimulus program, but he wouldn't say when that might happen.

"We're getting close to a time when tapering will be appropriate," Mr. Bostic said Wednesday in a virtual appearance before a gathering held by the National Association of Black Journalists. "If we do this right, in the right time, this should not affect consumers in any way," he said.

Fed Officials See Earlier End for Bond Buying, Emphasize Patience

Federal Reserve officials suggested that they might need to pull back their support for the economy sooner than they had anticipated because of stronger-than-expected growth this year.

Fed officials discussing the matter at their June 15-16 policy meeting weren't ready to reduce their $120 billion in monthly purchases of Treasury and mortgage securities, according to minutes of the gathering released Wednesday. But an unspecified number thought that time could be approaching.

Delta Covid-19 Variant Is Dominant U.S. Strain, CDC Data Show

The highly transmissible Delta variant has become the dominant strain of the Covid-19 virus circulating in the U.S., according to federal data. It is spreading rapidly as communities loosen pandemic restrictions and officials struggle to reach unvaccinated people.

The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, made up 51.7% of Covid-19 infections in the two weeks ended July 3, according to genetic sequences from positive Covid-19 tests submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tropical Storm Elsa Makes Landfall in Florida on Path Up East Coast

Tropical Storm Elsa swept inland Wednesday after making landfall along the Florida Gulf Coast, bringing high winds, heavy rain and storm surges.

Elsa formed as the first hurricane in the Atlantic this season on July 2, but was downgraded from a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. The agency warned the storm could spawn tornadoes as it came ashore in Florida's Taylor County, about 165 miles northwest of Tampa.

Tokyo Olympics to Be Held Under Covid-19 State of Emergency

TOKYO-Japan declared a new state of emergency due to Covid-19 that will continue through the Summer Olympics, making it likely the organizers will drop plans to allow some spectators at the Games.

Japan and some other countries in Asia that have been slow to roll out vaccinations are experiencing new waves of infection, exacerbated by the more contagious Delta variant. On Thursday, Tokyo reported 896 new cases, up 27% from a week earlier.

Trump Sues Facebook, Twitter, Google to Restore Social-Media Accounts

Former President Donald Trump has sued Facebook, Twitter and Google, seeking to restore his online profile after he was suspended from most social-media platforms following the Jan. 6 riots in the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Trump was the most prominent plaintiff seeking class-action status against the tech companies, claiming he has been wrongly censored by them in violation of his First Amendment rights. The lawsuits were filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Miami.

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

07-08-21 0618ET

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