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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING - Stocks Waver, French -2-

11/12/2021 | 06:43am EST

Eurozone Industrial Production Fell in September as Supply-Chain Strains Take Toll

Industrial production in the eurozone declined in September for the second consecutive month as delays in input deliveries stemming from global supply-chain strains held back manufacturing activity.

Output from factories, mines and utilities across the region fell 0.2% in September compared with August, the European Union statistics agency Eurostat said. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a sharper 0.7% decline.

AstraZeneca Plans to Start Selling Covid-19 Vaccines at Profit

AstraZeneca PLC said it would start pricing its Covid-19 vaccine to make it profitable, ending a period in which it had pledged to roll out the shots at cost during the pandemic.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant said it would shift away from a nonprofit approach to the vaccine starting in 2022, signing new contracts that will allow it to make money off the shot. The company expects some earnings contribution from new orders in the fourth quarter of this year.

Richemont Surges on Strong 1H Results, YNAP Divestment Talks

Shares in Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA traded sharply higher Friday morning after the Swiss luxury-goods giant posted expectation-defying first-half earnings and said it is in talks to divest control of struggling e-commerce platform Yoox-Net-A-Porter.

At 0830 GMT, Richemont shares were trading 7.8% higher at CHF132.15, having surged close to 10% at market open.

Hapag-Lloyd 3Q Profit, Revenue Surged Amid Supply-Chain Disruptions

Hapag-Lloyd AG reported a strong rise in profit and revenue in the third quarter thanks to higher freight rates as disruptions in global supply chains continued to restrict transport capacity.

The German shipping company said Friday that quarterly net profit soared to 2.83 billion euros ($3.24 billion) from EUR250.9 million in the third quarter last year.

Salzgitter Shares Fall After Flagging Supply-Chain Concerns

Shares in Salzgitter AG dipped on Friday after it flagged challenges from production cuts in the auto market and confirmed its guidance.

The German steelmaker swung to a after-tax profit in the three months to the end of September, reaching 237.0 million euros ($271.3 million), compared with a loss of EUR98.3 million last year, particularly due to the acceleration in steel prices.

Deutsche Telekom Raises 2021 Forecasts After 3Q Revenue Boost

Deutsche Telekom AG posted higher revenue for the third quarter and raised its annual forecasts for the third time this year, citing contributions from T-Mobile US Inc. as well as its business outside the U.S.

The German telecommunications company said Friday that revenue climbed to 26.88 billion euros ($30.77 billion) from EUR26.39 billion for the third quarter last year.

U.K. Companies See Higher Costs From Supply Disruption, Survey Says

Around four in five British companies have reported increased prices as supply chain disruption and cost inflation mounts, a survey from a British business network said Thursday.

Around 80% of British firms in a survey of 1,066 companies saw an increase to their prices in the past year, with 46% saying the rise was significant, the British Chambers of Commerce said. Just 2% said their costs decreased.

General Electric's Power Business Is Facing Stiff Competition as Spinoff Looms

General Electric Co. aims to create a market-leading power company as the conglomerate breaks into three. But it faces stiff competition from rivals also repositioning their businesses to cash in on a global renewable-energy boom.

GE said this week that it plans to create a new stand-alone business it would spin off around 2024 that would combine its existing units that make wind turbines, turbines for traditional power plants and its digital businesses. Such a company would instantly become a major player in the power manufacturing space, positioned to prosper from an accelerating transition to cleaner energy sources in the midst of concern about climate change, while continuing to sell natural-gas turbines in much of the world.

Europe Weighs Border Walls as Migrants Mass in Belarus at Poland's Frontier

BERLIN-A standoff over the fate of thousands of migrants camped in the forests of Belarus trying to enter Poland has pushed the European Union to embrace steps its leaders once considered controversial: explicitly paying for fences at the EU's frontiers and pushing back people who attempt to cross.

Before the migration crisis of 2015, when over a million asylum seekers poured into Europe at the height of the Syrian civil war, the EU traditionally deemed accepting refugees to be a humanitarian imperative. Now, amid growing popular backlash and the rise of anti-immigration political forces, that position is shifting.

Hundreds Seeking Evacuation From Afghanistan Forced to Leave Safehouses

WASHINGTON-Hundreds of Afghans have been forced to leave safe houses in Afghanistan after the volunteer group trying to help them evacuate failed to negotiate their passage out of the country and ran out of money to support them, the group said Thursday.

The Afghans include U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, former U.S. government workers and others who worked on U.S. funded projects, and their families. They have been told to return to their homes or to fund their own accommodation in hope of a future flight, the group, Task Force Argo, said.

World Leaders Pressure Libya to Hold Elections on Time

Vice President Kamala Harris and other world leaders are gathering in Paris on Friday to make a diplomatic push in support of coming elections in Libya that could make or break the peace process in a country that has been torn apart by war and political crisis for a decade.

Ms. Harris, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and other European and Middle Eastern leaders are attending the gathering. France wants the election to be held as scheduled on Dec. 24 in hopes that it will provide a definitive solution to Libya's political crises since the 2011 ouster and death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.


Biden and China's Xi to Hold Virtual Summit on Monday

WASHINGTON-President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to hold a virtual summit on Monday, people familiar with the matter said, as the two leading world economies pledge to work together on climate change but differences remain over Taiwan and other fronts.

The leaders have spoken twice since Mr. Biden took office in January, the last time in September, though the summit is expected to resemble a more formal bilateral meeting with staff involvement.

Record-High Job Openings Persist in Tight Labor Market

The U.S. economy has had more than 10 million open jobs since June, an extraordinary stretch of imbalance in the labor market that also includes record numbers of workers quitting their jobs.

As of Nov. 5, there were a projected 11.2 million U.S. job openings, according to estimates from the jobs site Indeed, exceeding 7.4 million unemployed workers in the U.S. labor force last month.

Derby's Take: Minneapolis Fed Chief Leans Against Launch of Fedcoin

One of the Federal Reserve's most vocal critics of private digital money is also pretty skeptical about the central bank countering those offerings with a fully digital dollar some have dubbed Fedcoin.

Speaking on Tuesday, Minneapolis Fed leader Neel Kashkari took stock of the arguments in favor of a fully digital dollar and said they aren't very strong.

Companies Order Record Number of Robots Amid Labor Shortage

Robotics orders by North American companies are on track for their biggest year, according to an industry group.

Total robotics sales for the first nine months of the year were $1.48 billion, topping a previous record of $1.47 billion set over the same period in 2017, according to the Association for Advancing Automation, or A3. Sales rose from $1.09 billion in the first nine months of last year.

How Crypto Wallets Fit Into Investors' Pockets

More players are beginning to arrive in the world of digital assets. Investors will have to think about what it means for their wallets-and for wallet stocks.

At the beginning of a person's journey into the world of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, "wallet" often refers to what a traditional bank or brokerage account already does: hold a customer's assets. It is a basic building block of crypto finance's future. A wallet can be attached to an exchange for trading, used to make purchases with crypto, or to help access the world of nonfungible tokens and decentralized finance, or "DeFi."

Surging Inflation Poses New Challenge to Biden's $2 Trillion Spending Plan

WASHINGTON-The highest inflation in three decades is posing a new challenge for President Biden as he seeks to enact another pillar of his economic agenda while also easing Americans' concerns about rising consumer prices.

The inflation has driven new Republican criticism of Democrats' $2 trillion social-spending and climate plan, which the White House calls Build Back Better. House Democrats are aiming to wrap up the bill next week and send it to the Senate.

Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-12-21 0643ET

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