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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING : Airbus Shares Rise as -2-

06/15/2021 | 06:21am EDT

Philips Recalls Millions of CPAP, Ventilator Machines Over Potential Health Risks

Royal Philips NV has recalled millions of sleep apnea and ventilator machines over concerns that a type of foam used in the devices could degrade and release harmful, possibly cancer-causing, particles.

The recall affects three million to four million machines, more than half of which are in the U.S., a company spokesman said Monday. About 80% are machines for aiding people with sleep apnea, a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. The rest are life-supporting mechanical ventilators.

Chinese Nuclear Plant Flags Performance Issue, French Part Owner Says

French power giant Électricité de France SA said it had requested an extraordinary board meeting with Chinese managers of a nuclear plant it co-owns in Southeast China to get more information on the buildup of gases inside one of the plant's reactors.

EDF said it made the request Saturday after receiving data from the managers of the Taishan nuclear power plant-located in the province of Guangdong 80 miles west of Hong Kong-showing an increase in the concentration of noble gases in one of its reactors' primary circuits, which is part of the reactor's cooling system.

Rapid Spread of Delta Coronavirus Variant Delays U.K.'s Full Reopening

LONDON-U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed a long-awaited end to Covid-19 restrictions in England following an upswing in cases of a more contagious variant of coronavirus, highlighting how the virus can spread even within highly vaccinated populations.

The four-week delay offers a cautionary lesson to the U.S. and other countries about the risk of further outbreaks caused by new forms of the virus that are spreading around the world. The variant is primarily spreading among younger, unvaccinated groups in Britain but cases have been detected among older people who have had one and sometimes two doses of vaccine.

Biden, NATO Stress Threats From China and Russia

BRUSSELS-President Biden and NATO allies warned about China's global influence and called Russia a threat to European and Atlantic security, as the U.S. leader sought to marshal democratic nations against autocracies and bolster an alliance jolted by broadsides from his predecessor.

Despite an atmosphere of renewed comity among allies, disputes simmer over how to balance new threats from China against more traditional ones from Russia and how to address threats in new domains including cyber and space. Turkey's increasingly discordant role in the alliance also hung over the gathering.

Biden, Erdogan Meet in Attempt to Reset U.S.-Turkey Ties

ISTANBUL-President Biden met with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the first time since taking office, as the two NATO allies attempt to repair a frayed relationship by seeking common cause over their security interests across the world, from Libya to Syria and Afghanistan.

"There is no problem with the U.S. that we cannot solve," Mr. Erdogan said following the meeting in Brussels on Monday.

GLOBAL NEWS

Supply Chain Disruptions, Strong Demand Likely Pushed Up Producer Prices in May

The prices that businesses are charging their customers likely rose again last month, adding to inflation pressures bubbling through the economy.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the Labor Department to report Tuesday that its so-called producer-price index rose 0.5% in May from the prior month, down slightly from the 0.6% increase in April from March. The average rise between 2017 and 2019 was 0.2%.

Auto-Supply Pinch Likely Held Back Retail Spending in May

Shoppers likely pulled back on auto purchases last month while boosting spending on other items and at restaurants, as more people got vaccinated against Covid-19 and business restrictions were further eased.

Economists estimate that Tuesday's Commerce Department report will show that overall retail sales declined 0.6% in May. They expect that sales excluding autos rose a solid 0.5% from a month earlier.

RBA Lays Out Key Considerations for Potential Policy Shakeup at July Meeting

Members of the Reserve Bank of Australia's rate-setting board discussed key considerations that could drive significant changes to the central bank's platform of stimulus measures at its next meeting on July 6.

In minutes of the RBA's June 1 policy meeting, the central bank said a return to full employment was a priority for monetary policy as this would assist in achieving its target of bringing inflation to within a 2%-3% range.

Bitcoin Rises Above $40,000 on Elon Musk Tweet, MicroStrategy Plans

Bitcoin reached its highest level in more than two weeks Monday, buoyed by MicroStrategy Inc. completing its $500 million offering of junk bonds to buy bitcoin and by fresh comments from Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk.

The world's largest cryptocurrency by market value traded as high as $41,046.77-a nearly 11% rise from its Friday level at 5 p.m. ET.

Back-to-Back Rebukes of China Mark a Turning Point

Major democracies rallied together this week to issue extraordinary back-to-back rebukes of Beijing, marking a shift toward collective action and pushing back against President Xi Jinping's strategies to position China as a global leader.

Over two consecutive days, Group of Seven leaders and North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations jointly criticized core Chinese policy under Mr. Xi as damaging to military stability, human rights, international trade and global health. NATO members vowed Monday to counter "systemic challenges to the rules-based international order" posed by China.

Lumber Prices Are Falling Fast, Turning Hoarders Into Sellers

Lumber prices are falling back to earth.

Futures for July delivery ended Monday at $996.20 per thousand board feet, down 42% from the record of $1,711.20 reached in early May. Futures have declined 14 of the past 15 trading days, the last two by the most allowed by exchange rules.

SEC Considers Changes to Trump-Era Rules

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it would consider changes to regulations passed under the Trump administration, a move that drew criticism from its Republican commissioners.

Among the regulations that the SEC plans to revisit are amendments to its whistleblower award program and a rule requiring oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments. Both rules were passed late last year over opposition by the agency's Democrats.

Biden, NATO Stress Threats From China and Russia

BRUSSELS-President Biden and NATO allies warned about China's global influence and called Russia a threat to European and Atlantic security, as the U.S. leader sought to marshal democratic nations against autocracies and bolster an alliance jolted by broadsides from his predecessor.

Despite an atmosphere of renewed comity among allies, disputes simmer over how to balance new threats from China against more traditional ones from Russia and how to address threats in new domains including cyber and space. Turkey's increasingly discordant role in the alliance also hung over the gathering.

After Apple Subpoenas, Justice Department Rethinks Policies on Getting Lawmakers' Records

WASHINGTON-The Justice Department will bolster its procedures for obtaining records from members of Congress, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday, after it emerged that the agency during the Trump administration secretly seized data on the communications of Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

Mr. Garland said he directed his deputy, Lisa Monaco, "to evaluate and strengthen the department's existing policies and procedures for obtaining records of the legislative branch."

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

06-15-21 0620ET

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