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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING: Stocks Slip as -2-

06/18/2021 | 06:25am EDT

A Canadian vaccine panel said Thursday that people who received a first dose of AstraZeneca PLC's vaccine against Covid-19 should get a different vaccine for their second dose.

Canada's national advisory panel on immunization said earlier this month that authorized Covid-19 vaccines could be mixed, and noted some people might prefer to get a messenger RNA vaccine for their second shot. The panel has previously said mRNA vaccines, such as the ones produced by Pfizer Inc. in partnership with BioNTech SE, as well as Moderna Inc., are preferable to viral vector vaccines, such as those developed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Supreme Court Rules Cargill, Nestle Can't Be Sued in Child-Labor Case

WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Nestlé USA and Cargill Inc. can't be sued in U.S. courts for abuses allegedly committed in Ivory Coast, where plaintiffs accused the food-processing giants of obtaining cocoa from plantations that relied on the forced labor of children.

The court, in a decision by Justice Clarence Thomas, said the plaintiffs' case didn't have enough of a connection to the U.S. to proceed.

Israel Strikes Militant Targets in Gaza After More Arson Attacks

JERUSALEM-The Israeli military hit the Gaza Strip with a series of airstrikes Thursday night, rattling a shaky month-old cease-fire between the two sides that mediators are trying to keep from falling apart.

Soon after, for the first time in nearly a month, air raid sirens sounded the alarm in southern Israel when Gaza militants used heavy machine guns to fire across the border, the Israeli military said.

Turkey Commits to Securing Afghan Airport After Americans Leave, U.S. Says

WASHINGTON-The U.S. and Turkey have agreed to a plan for the Turks to continue providing security at the airport in Kabul, U.S. officials said, ensuring the U.S. and other nations can maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of troops, expected by next month.

Jake Sullivan, President Biden's national security adviser, told reporters Thursday that both sides had made a "clear commitment" on the security of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

CureVac Value Halves in Reminder of Vaccine Research Risks

CureVac NV's market value nearly halved Thursday after the Nasdaq-listed German company reported disappointing results for its experimental Covid-19 vaccine, even as executives voiced hope that the shot could still find a use in certain groups.

Investors wiped up to $9 billion off CureVac's value after the company said its vaccine was just 47% effective against the disease in an interim analysis of a large trial, one of the poorest results for any prospective Covid-19 shot. By midday, shares in the company were trading down 40%.

GLOBAL NEWS

BOJ Introduces Lending Facility for Climate Change

TOKYO-The Bank of Japan on Friday said it would introduce a lending facility to help banks finance projects connected to climate change.

The central bank said climate change would have an "extremely large impact" over the long term on the economy, prices and financial conditions.

Glynn's Take: RBA Gov. Increasingly Likely to Raise Rates Before Stepping Out the Door

A career devoted to the understanding and implementation of monetary policy has left the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe, a tad unfulfilled.

He hasn't had to raise interest rates while in the top job, and if current policy guidance plays out, his term will expire before he gets a chance.

Bipartisan $1 Trillion Infrastructure Package Gains Steam

WASHINGTON-A growing bipartisan group of lawmakers and the White House haggled over how to finance a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, awaiting feedback from President Biden as Democrats began discussions on a separate economic package that could cost up to $6 trillion.

Since negotiations between Mr. Biden and a group of Senate Republicans collapsed last week, an alternative set of Republican and Democratic senators have held talks on a infrastructure plan that would spend $973 billion over five years, with $579 billion of that funding above expected baseline levels. Initially a group of five Democrats and five Republicans, the group expanded to include 11 Republicans and 10 members of the Democratic caucus on Wednesday.

Yellen Declines to Offer Position on State-Tax Deduction Cap

WASHINGTON-Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen repeatedly declined to offer a clear administration position on the deduction for state and local taxes during a House hearing, leaving vagueness on an issue that will be the subject of tense negotiations among Democrats considering President Biden's fiscal agenda.

Under pressure from House Democrats and Republicans on Thursday to take a position, Ms. Yellen wouldn't say whether the Biden administration favors repealing the $10,000 cap on the deduction. Eliminating that limit would cut taxes for high-income households and disproportionately benefit residents of high-tax Democratic-leaning states such as New York, New Jersey and California.

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week, Pausing Downward Trend

Worker filings for initial unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since late April but remained near a pandemic low as the labor market continues to heal from the impact of Covid-19.

Initial jobless claims rose by 37,000 to 412,000 in the week ended June 12. Despite the increase, the four-week moving average, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, reached a new pandemic low of 395,000. This was the lowest average level since March 2020, when the pandemic first took hold in the U.S.

Floating-Rate Bonds Are Coming Back, Boosted by Bets on Rising Rates

Investors are snapping up bonds with yields that rise and fall with interest rates, spurring a wave of debt offerings by blue-chip companies.

Nonfinancial companies including Verizon Communications Inc. and 7-Eleven have sold more than $18 billion worth of investment-grade bonds with variable interest rates this year through June 14, according to data compiled by Dealogic. That is nearly four times the amount issued in the same period last year.

Lawmakers Urge Private Sector to Do More on Cybersecurity

The private sector in the U.S. must do more to defend against cyberattacks, lawmakers from both major parties stressed Thursday as several senators introduced legislation designed to target hackers.

The ransomware incident that brought operations at Colonial Pipeline Co. to a standstill for six days starting May 7, and resulted in fuel shortages across Southeastern states, shows that cybersecurity efforts must improve, said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.).

China Considers Lifting All Childbirth Restrictions by 2025

SINGAPORE-Chinese officials are drawing up plans to further loosen birth restrictions and transition toward policies that explicitly encourage childbirth, according to people familiar with the matter, reflecting increased urgency in Beijing as economic growth slows and China's population mix skews older.

Policy makers are discussing the possibility of fully doing away with birth restrictions by 2025, the end of the ruling Chinese Communist Party's current five-year economic plan, according to one of the people. According to that person, China will likely begin by eliminating birth restrictions in provinces where the birthrate is the lowest before enacting nationwide changes.

Israel Strikes Militant Targets in Gaza After More Arson Attacks

JERUSALEM-The Israeli military hit the Gaza Strip with a series of airstrikes Thursday night, rattling a shaky month-old cease-fire between the two sides that mediators are trying to keep from falling apart.

Soon after, for the first time in nearly a month, air raid sirens sounded the alarm in southern Israel when Gaza militants used heavy machine guns to fire across the border, the Israeli military said.

Turkey Commits to Securing Afghan Airport After Americans Leave, U.S. Says

WASHINGTON-The U.S. and Turkey have agreed to a plan for the Turks to continue providing security at the airport in Kabul, U.S. officials said, ensuring the U.S. and other nations can maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of troops, expected by next month.

Jake Sullivan, President Biden's national security adviser, told reporters Thursday that both sides had made a "clear commitment" on the security of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

U.S. FCC Proposes Fresh Ban on Equipment From Chinese Firms Including Huawei, ZTE

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has proposed new rules that would prevent U.S. communications networks from using equipment made by a handful of Chinese companies deemed as national security threats, including telecom giants Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp.

The proposed regulation also seeks to revoke prior authorizations issued to five Chinese companies that allowed U.S. networks to use their equipment, the telecom regulator said in a statement Thursday.

Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

Write to us at newsletters@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

06-18-21 0624ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ASTRAZENECA PLC 0.83% 8339 Delayed Quote.13.90%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (AUD/JPY) -0.15% 81.129 Delayed Quote.1.81%
BANK OF JAPAN -1.92% 25500 End-of-day quote.3.11%
BIONTECH SE -2.30% 404.92 Delayed Quote.396.71%
BRITISH POUND / JAPANESE YEN (GBP/JPY) 0.03% 152.901 Delayed Quote.7.82%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (CAD/JPY) 0.02% 87.805 Delayed Quote.7.64%
CUREVAC N.V. 7.98% 62.53 Delayed Quote.-22.87%
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.78% 35064.25 Delayed Quote.14.74%
EURO / JAPANESE YEN (EUR/JPY) -0.03% 129.851 Delayed Quote.2.92%
INDIAN RUPEE / JAPANESE YEN (INR/JPY) 0.06% 1.482404 Delayed Quote.4.50%
MODERNA, INC. -0.67% 416.26 Delayed Quote.298.45%
MSCI SINGAPORE (GDTR) 1.52% 6672.764 Real-time Quote.13.00%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.78% 14895.117079 Real-time Quote.14.53%
NESTLÉ S.A. -0.46% 113.04 Delayed Quote.8.42%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (NZD/JPY) 0.07% 77.397 Delayed Quote.4.08%
PFIZER, INC. -0.29% 45.06 Delayed Quote.22.41%
S&P 500 0.60% 4429.1 Delayed Quote.17.76%
US DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (USD/JPY) 0.07% 109.837 Delayed Quote.6.14%
US DOLLAR / TURKISH LIRA (USD/TRY) 0.06% 8.5242 Delayed Quote.14.09%
VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS -0.13% 55.3 Delayed Quote.-5.75%
ZTE CORPORATION -1.85% 40.3 End-of-day quote.19.76%
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