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EMEA Morning Briefing: Stocks to Open Lower After -2-

07/29/2021 | 12:22am EDT

SEC Weighs Making Companies Liable for Climate Disclosures

WASHINGTON-Public companies could be required to disclose climate-change related risks to investors in regulatory filings under a proposal being formulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, a step that could expose them to new litigation threats.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said Wednesday he has asked agency staff to consider whether climate-related disclosures should be filed in companies' annual reports, known as Form 10-K, along with financial data and other information considered crucial to investors. That would require them to provide statements that are both complete and accurate, making it easier for SEC enforcement attorneys to investigate firms or their directors for fraud or disclosure failures.

Private-Market Secondary Sales Set First-Half Record

Sales volume and pricing for secondhand private-market assets surged in the first half, the latest sign of investors' hunger for alternative investments as the economy continues to rebound from its pandemic-induced slump.

The first six months of the year saw $48 billion in secondary sales of private funds, including private equity, venture capital, private credit, real estate and other types of vehicles, according to a report from Jefferies LLC, an investment bank that advises clients on secondary transactions.

Robinhood IPO Prices at $38 a Share

Robinhood Markets Inc. priced its initial public offering at $38 a share, at the low end of expectations, after the popular trading platform met tepid demand for its highly anticipated debut.

FTC's Lina Khan Blames Digital Platforms for Surge in Consumer Fraud

WASHINGTON-Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan took aim at big technology companies in her first appearance before Congress as the agency's head, saying online digital platforms are partly to blame for a surge in fraud reported by Americans during the pandemic.

"Fraud has continued to surge," Ms. Khan said Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "One reason is that fraud today is supercharged by digital platforms where this conduct is tolerated and even promoted."

Covid-19 Fueled a Treasury Market Meltdown in 2020. Report Offers 10 Potential Fixes.

A global dash for cash sparked by the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 forced the Federal Reserve to buy hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. Treasury securities in a matter of days to prevent a broader meltdown in financial markets.

A new report from a group that includes former central bankers warns that failing to address key market fragilities revealed by that episode could weaken the confidence in the market for U.S. Treasurys, which is widely assumed to be the global risk-free asset.

Europe's Lenders Want to Grow Their Investment Banks Again

Barclays and Deutsche Bank are on form right now, but investors need to be cautious of their growing ambitions for the volatile investment-banking business.

The big European lenders published solid half-year results Wednesday, benefiting like their U.S. peers from a strong investment-banking market. Both companies have built generous capital buffers since their regulators banned dividends last year. Barclays resumed payouts with a 2 pence a share dividend and GBP500m buyback, equivalent to $694 million. Deutsche Bank set aside EUR575 million, equivalent to $678 million, this year for dividends to be paid next year, once its restructuring is complete.

U.K. Car Manufacturing in June Hits 68-Year Low; Revival at Risk

U.K. car manufacturing had its worst June in 68 years outside of Covid-hit 2020, an industry body said Thursday as it warned that staff and supply shortages could hurt a production revival.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders blamed the staff shortages on the current "pingdemic" under which people being notified by the U.K. National Health Service's Covid-19 app that they need to self-isolate after being registered as being in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

U.K. Advertising Spend Expected to Post Strongest Growth on Record in 2021

U.K. advertising expenditure is forecast to grow 18.2% this year, its strongest annual rise since records began, as the recovery from the hit caused by the coronavirus pandemic gathers pace, according to industry estimates released Thursday.

Spending in advertising is expected to reach 27.7 billion pounds ($38.44 billion) this year from GBP23.46 billion in 2020, the latest expenditure report from the U.K.'s Advertising Association and ad-intelligence firm WARC showed. This compares with a previous forecast of GBP27.0 billion published in April.

The growth-rate forecast for U.K. ad spend has also been revised upward to 18.2% from 15.2% previously, which means that 2021 is expected to surpass the prior expenditure growth high set at 15.9% in 1988, the AA and WARC said. Their data and forecasts go back to 1982.

U.K. to Open Up to Vaccinated American Travelers

LONDON-The U.K. is open to American visitors again.

The government said it would allow vaccinated travelers from the U.S., and those from most of the European Union, to enter England and Scotland, the U.K.'s two biggest and most visited regions, without quarantine, hoping for an influx of late-summer tourists.

Pfizer Forecasts $33.5 Billion in Covid-19 Vaccine Sales

Pfizer Inc. expects sales for its Covid-19 vaccine this year to reach about $33.5 billion, up nearly 30% from its forecast three months ago, as the shot plays a growing role in global efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

With concerns rising over the highly infectious Delta variant, Pfizer also said that booster shots would likely be needed to ensure protection against the virus.

New Food-Delivery Battlefield Has Wurst Appeal

Both Uber Technologies' Uber Eats and DoorDash appear to have their sights set on the German market-a unique one controlled by a single player amid a global land grab in food delivery. An activist presentation this week shows Germany's allure isn't necessarily its diners but the ability to weaken a vulnerable incumbent.

Robinhood IPO Prices at $38 a Share

Robinhood Markets Inc. priced its initial public offering at $38 a share, at the low end of expectations, after the popular trading platform met tepid demand for its highly anticipated debut.

Samsung Profit Rises 73% as Memory-Chip Demand Surges

SEOUL-Samsung Electronics Co. offset relative weakness in smartphone shipments by capitalizing on another quarter of roaring demand for its memory chips.

Samsung, the world's largest smartphone and memory-chip maker, is considered an industry bellwether because it is both a major electronics maker and components supplier to the world's biggest tech firms, including Apple Inc. and Sony Group Corp.

J&J Contractor Plans to Resume Covid-19 Vaccine Production at Troubled Baltimore Plant

WASHINGTON-Emergent BioSolutions Inc. plans to resume Covid-19 vaccine production at its Baltimore plant after getting the green light from the Food and Drug Administration, according to a statement from the company and an FDA letter reviewed by the Journal.

"We are proud to be resuming production of bulk Covid-19 vaccine batches following additional reviews and collaboration with FDA and our manufacturing partners," Emergent CEO Robert Kramer said in a statement late Wednesday. "We are grateful for the opportunity to help bring this global pandemic to an end."

Apple to Require Employees, Customers to Wear Masks in Many U.S. Stores

Apple Inc. plans to require employees and customers to wear masks in more than half its U.S. retail stores regardless of their vaccination status, according to a memo sent to some of its workers Wednesday.

The Cupertino, Calif., company has also told employees working in its corporate offices that they must wear masks inside those buildings even if they have been vaccinated. Bloomberg News earlier reported the new mask policies.

Hyundai Motor, LG Energy Solution Plan $1.1 Billion Battery Plant in Indonesia

Hyundai Motor Co. said Thursday that it and LG Energy Solution, a South Korean battery maker affiliated with LG Chem Ltd., will set up a $1.1 billion joint venture in Indonesia.

The JV, which will be owned evenly by the two companies, will be completed by 2023 to start producing battery cells the following year, Hyundai Motor said.

Pfizer Vaccine's Protection Against Covid-19 Declines After Six Months but Remains High

Protection against symptomatic Covid-19 from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE's vaccine diminished over time but remained strong after six months, according to data released by the companies Wednesday.

The efficacy of the vaccine protecting against symptomatic disease dropped every two months, to 84% after six months from a peak of 96% within two months of vaccination, a decline that may add urgency to Pfizer's push to administer an additional dose to maintain protection.

Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

Expected Major Events for Thursday

04:30/NED: Jul Producer confidence survey

06:00/DEN: Jul Business tendency survey

06:45/FRA: Jun Housing starts

06:45/FRA: Jun PPI

07:00/SPN: 2Q Economically Active Population Survey

07:00/SWE: Jul Consumer Tendency Survey

07:00/SWE: Jul Quarterly Business Tendency Survey

07:00/SVK: Jul Business tendency survey

07:00/SVK: Jul Economic sentiment indicator

07:00/SPN: Jul Flash Estimate CPI

07:30/SWE: Jun Labour Force Survey

07:30/SWE: 2Q Flash GDP

07:55/GER: Jul Labour market statistics (incl unemployment)

08:00/GER: Jul Bavaria CPI

08:00/GER: Jul Hesse CPI

08:00/GER: Jul Baden-Wuerttemberg CPI

08:00/GER: Jul Brandenburg CPI

08:30/UK: Jun Money and Credit - Lending to Individuals, Lending to Businesses, Broad Money and Credit

08:30/UK: Jun Monetary & Financial Statistics

08:30/UK: Jun Bank of England effective interest rates

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

07-29-21 0021ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
APPIAN CORPORATION -0.43% 100.75 Delayed Quote.-38.65%
APPLE INC. -1.14% 147.365 Delayed Quote.12.31%
BARCLAYS PLC 1.31% 182.16 Delayed Quote.22.62%
BIONTECH SE 1.18% 360.4841 Delayed Quote.335.78%
DEUTSCHE BANK AG 0.84% 11.102 Delayed Quote.23.03%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.49% 34591.78 Delayed Quote.12.97%
DOORDASH, INC. 5.19% 220.44 Delayed Quote.47.01%
EMERGENT BIOSOLUTIONS INC. -0.30% 56.98 Delayed Quote.-36.22%
HYUNDAI CORPORATION -0.54% 18350 End-of-day quote.15.05%
HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY -0.72% 208000 End-of-day quote.8.33%
LG CHEM, LTD. -0.28% 716000 End-of-day quote.-13.11%
LG CORP. -0.94% 94800 End-of-day quote.-1.24%
PFIZER, INC. -1.28% 44.1468 Delayed Quote.21.46%
ROBINHOOD MARKETS, INC. -0.96% 41.74 Delayed Quote.0.00%
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. -1.17% 76100 End-of-day quote.-6.05%
SONY GROUP CORPORATION 0.82% 12270 End-of-day quote.19.30%
WASHINGTON FEDERAL, INC. -0.67% 32.8 Delayed Quote.28.09%
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