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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING - Stocks, Oil Drop on -2-

11/26/2021 | 06:30am EST

Shares in Novacyt S.A. rose Friday after the company improved its full-year revenue guidance following the approval of its genesig Covid-19 real-time PCR test in the U.K. under the Health Security Agency's Medical Devices Regulations 2021.

The clinical-diagnostics company said it will now work to resume the sale of the product in the country.

Turks Abandon the Lira for Dollars as Currency Crisis Deepens

ISTANBUL-A currency crisis here is battering Turks' confidence in their government's ability to manage the economy, causing droves of people to buy U.S. dollars and sending crowds of people into the streets to oppose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's policies.

Riot police lined the streets in parts of Istanbul as the country braced for a third night of scattered protests over Mr. Erdogan's inability to stop a precipitous drop in the Turkish lira. The lira's depreciation has undermined nearly two decades of economic gains that had lent Turks a sense that they were ascending into the world's club of top economies.

UK Car Manufacturing in October Hits Lowest Level On Month Since 1956

U.K. car manufacturing fell 41% in October-its worst for the month since 1956-as global chip shortages hurt production, an industry body said Friday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that a total of 64,729 cars drove off the production lines in October compared with 110,458 in October 2020 and 51,680 in October 1956. Production for the first 10 months of 2021 fell 2.9% to 721,505.

Novo Nordisk Sees 3% Hit to 2022 Sales Growth From Reduced Prices, Volumes of Insulin Sold in China

Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk AS said Friday it expects a 3% negative impact on global sales growth in 2022 as a result of reduced prices and reduced volumes of insulin sold in China.

The company said it has received results from the volume-based procurement tender for insulin in China, where the Chinese National Healthcare Security Administration has tendered insulin sold at hospitals.

K+S Says No Value Adjustments Required After German Watchdog's Final Findings

K+S AG said late Thursday that it believes final findings from the examination of 2019 and 2020 financial statements by the German accounting watchdog won't result in valuation adjustments.

"According to K+S, the final findings do not result in any adjustment requirements for the valuations of the potash and magnesium products cash-generating unit in the respective financial statements," the German chemical company said.

SEB CFO Masih Yazdi Takes Leave of Absence for Personal Reasons

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB said Friday that Chief Financial Officer Masih Yazdi has decided to take a leave of absence for personal reasons, effective Dec. 8.

Peter Kessiakoff, currently CFO at SEB's Corporate & Private Customers division, has been appointed acting CFO, and he will work with deputy CFO Kenneth Berglund, the bank said.

France, U.K. Grapple With Migrant Boat Crossings After 27 Drown

PARIS-France has set up barbed wire, thermal detectors and police patrols at the tunnel entry under the English Channel and at the port of Calais to keep migrants from using what were once the most popular routes for clandestine migration to Britain.

Those measures, officials and analysts say, have spurred migrants to take a far more dangerous route: boarding small boats from the beaches of northern France to cross the channel's storm-tossed waters.

Afghan Teachers Defy Taliban by Secretly Schooling Teenage Girls

KABUL-A group of teenage girls filed quietly into Fawzia's house, took off their shoes and gathered in the living room for a clandestine history lesson.

Fawzia, who asked to be identified only by her first name, talked about Afghanistan's fabled treasure, the Bactrian Gold, and its past kings and queens. The 56-year-old teacher sees her new, secret work with teens as essential.


The Chinese Metaverse Stock Frenzy Gets Unreal

The metaverse will blend the virtual and physical worlds. Investors should be careful that the meta market frenzy doesn't warp their sense of reality.

It's difficult to find people who can clearly explain what exactly the metaverse will be-roughly, a shared immersive digital realm where people can shop, interact and play-but the concept has quickly become the hottest buzzword in the stock market. In China, the speculative craze has already caught the attention of the government. Chinese state-owned media has published a number of articles in recent weeks warning about the risks of jumping on the trend. On Thursday, the People's Daily said investors should be careful about potential scams related to the metaverse or nonfungible tokens, a type of digital asset on the blockchain.

Casino Stocks in China's Gambling Hub Are Out of Luck

Coronavirus flare-ups and a regulatory overhaul are clouding the long road to recovery for China's gambling hub.

Macau's gaming stocks have lost between 23% and 56% since the start of 2021, as the second year of the pandemic has kept what used to be the world's most lucrative gambling market largely closed off to outside visitors. They fell steeply Friday amid a broader international selloff triggered by concerns about a new, fast-spreading coronavirus variant.

Private Equity Buyout Boom Hits Bondholders

Leveraged buyouts of companies by private equity firms are sweeping Europe, leaving corporate-bond investors exposed to losses.

Just this week, U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer and Italy's Telecom Italia fell prey to U.S. private equity funds, causing prices of their bonds to drop sharply.

Brainard's Nomination Promotes a Close Powell Ally on Recent Fed Innovations

President Biden's decision to nominate Lael Brainard to become Federal Reserve vice chairwoman elevates a veteran policy maker and economist who has been a strong ally of Chairman Jerome Powell on the central bank's boldest policy decisions during the pandemic.

Ms. Brainard was a key adviser to Mr. Powell as the Fed scaled up emergency-lending backstops last year, and she provided influential intellectual support for his effort last year to revamp the Fed's policy-setting framework. Under the new framework, the Fed set aside its practice of raising rates to pre-empt inflationary pressures and pledged to keep interest rates low to foster a faster and broader labor-market recovery.

Biden's Economic Plans Collide With Inflation Reality

WASHINGTON-President Biden took office with a raft of economic plans to better position the U.S. to compete on the world stage and jump-start a labor market ravaged by the pandemic. Ten months into his term, Mr. Biden is facing a new set of economic challenges.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to a 52-year low last week, available jobs are trending near record highs and consumer spending is rising. But those positive economic developments have been complicated by supply-chain bottlenecks and the highest inflation in three decades.

Antitrust Tech Bills Gain Bipartisan Momentum in Senate

WASHINGTON-Support for curbing large technology companies' market power is widening in the Senate, with lawmakers in both parties endorsing new legal constraints on search engines, e-marketplaces, app stores and other online platforms.

Lawmakers say they are responding to public concerns over the size and influence of the tech companies.

Southern Africa's New Covid-19 Variant Prompts Wave of Travel Restrictions

JOHANNESBURG-Dozens of countries restricted travel to and from South Africa and neighboring nations Friday, hoping to contain a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus that scientists say may be more contagious and could render the current crop of Covid-19 vaccines less effective.

Experts from the World Health Organization were due to meet later Friday to decide whether to declare the new strain-currently known as B.1.1.529-a "variant of concern." The WHO uses this label for virus strains that have been proven to be more contagious, lead to more serious illness or decrease the effectiveness of public-health measures, tests, treatments or vaccines.

Taiwan Hosts Second U.S. Congressional Delegation in Two Weeks

A delegation of mostly Democratic lawmakers arrived in Taiwan for a two-day trip, marking the second Congressional visit in roughly two weeks at a time of rising tension between Beijing and Washington over the democratically self-ruled island.

The five-member delegation landed in Taipei Thursday evening ahead of meetings Friday with senior Taiwanese officials on issues including U.S.-Taiwan relations and regional security, according to statements from Taiwan's Foreign Ministry and the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy on the island.

Japan Approves Extra Defense Spending and Sets a Record

TOKYO-Japan's cabinet approved a boost in defense spending that for the first time will bring the annual total beyond Yen6 trillion, to the equivalent of $53 billion, responding to China's rapid military expansion and U.S. requests for upgrades.

The move makes Tokyo's defense budget for the current fiscal year equal to 1.14% of last fiscal year's gross domestic product, exceeding an informal guideline of 1% of GDP that has usually been observed in recent decades.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-26-21 0630ET