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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING: Banks Lead Stocks Higher -2-

06/24/2021 | 06:33am EDT

Anglo American stock fell 16% in the two weeks since the second leg of the presidential election took place on June 6. The company and Mitsubishi Corporation have invested $5.3 billion in a copper mine named Quellaveco, in southern Peru, which is set to become one of the world's largest copper pits when it starts operating next year.

Race Between Covid-19 Vaccines and Delta Variant Plays Out in U.K.

LONDON-The highly transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant is generating rapidly rising caseloads in the U.K., but smaller increases in hospitalizations and fatalities, in a hopeful sign that mass vaccination can prevent a repeat of the heavy toll of sickness and death seen earlier in the pandemic.

The other message is one of caution. Epidemiologists say the U.K.'s experience shows how easily the variant can spread even within populations where vaccine uptake is high. That underscores the risk of further outbreaks of Covid-19 in the U.S. and other advanced economies, as well as the urgency of widening and accelerating vaccination programs.

CDC Advisory Group Says 'Likely Association' Between mRNA Covid-19 Vaccines and Rare Myocarditis Cases

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisers said Wednesday that there is a "likely association" between Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna's mRNA Covid-19 vaccines and an inflammatory heart condition in some younger individuals, but noted that cases were rare and that most patients quickly felt better.

The CDC and other health authorities still recommend Covid-19 vaccination for those age 12 and above, given the greater risk from Covid-19, which itself can cause myocarditis and other complications.

EU Aims to Beef Up Cybersecurity Amid Ransomware Boom

The European Union is aiming to step up international cybersecurity collaboration through a joint unit intended to serve as a hub for intelligence and a first-responder to major hacks.

The announcement came a day after a top U.S. official said Washington would work more closely with Brussels to counter a spate of ransomware attacks that have crippled critical infrastructure in recent weeks.

Afghan Government Could Collapse Six Months After U.S. Withdrawal, New Intelligence Assessment Says

KABUL-The U.S. intelligence community concluded last week that the government of Afghanistan could collapse as soon as six months after the American military withdrawal from the country is completed, according to officials with knowledge of the new assessment.

American intelligence agencies revised their previously more optimistic estimates as the Taliban swept through northern Afghanistan last week, seizing dozens of districts and surrounding major cities. Afghan security forces frequently surrendered without a fight, leaving their Humvees and other American-supplied equipment to the insurgents.


Jobless Claims Are Projected to Resume Downward Trajectory

Worker filings for jobless benefits last week are predicted to have declined, resuming a mostly downward trend since spring that has been supported by a strengthening economic recovery.

Economists estimate the Labor Department will report Thursday that initial unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, moved lower last week to 380,000 from 412,000 the prior week, when claims rose by 37,000.

Hospital Stocks' Rally Points to Post-Covid Growth

Hospital stocks have trounced the market this year, and the steps they took to get through the pandemic could keep the rally going.

Hospitals were hit hard financially by the costs of Covid-19, which crimped their ability to do high-margin elective procedures. Some firms took large government grants to help them make up for losses tied to the pandemic and for treating Covid-19 patients.

Fed's Bostic Says Bond Buying Drawdown Near, Sees Rate Rise in Late 2022

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said Wednesday he has moved forward his expectations for a central bank rate rise to next year and that the time is coming soon for the Fed to pare its bond buying stimulus efforts.

"Given the upside surprises and recent data points, I've pulled forward my projection for our first move to late 2022," Mr. Bostic said in a call with reporters. Mr. Bostic said he also expects two additional increases in the federal-funds rate in 2023. The Fed official had recently said he expected the first increase in 2023.

Yellen Says U.S. Could Breach Debt Limit Deadline in August if Congress Doesn't Act

WASHINGTON-The U.S. could run out of room to keep paying the government's bills some time during Congress's August recess unless lawmakers raise or suspend the federal borrowing limit before then, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday.

Congress in 2019 suspended the borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, through July 31, 2021. After that, the Treasury Department won't be able to raise additional cash through the sale of government securities and would need to deploy emergency measures to keep paying the government's obligations, as it has in the past.

Infrastructure Negotiators Agree to Framework for Package

WASHINGTON-Members of a bipartisan group negotiating a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal said they had crafted a framework for an agreement, and lawmakers plan to meet with President Biden on Thursday to try to complete a deal.

The Democrats and Republicans emerged from a meeting with top White House officials Wednesday saying work would continue on some unresolved details.

Bank of Korea May Raise Rates This Year, Governor Says

South Korea's central bank is preparing to raise rates this year, as the economy recovers faster than expected.

Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said Thursday in a clearer-than-ever message that he is thinking of raising rates "within this year," though the exact timing and pace will depend on economic conditions.

Google, Facebook Pressure Falls Short as Antitrust Measures Advance in House Committee

WASHINGTON-A House committee approved far-reaching legislation to curb the market dominance of tech giants, including Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Facebook Inc., but much of the effort faced intensive lobbying by affected firms that slowed the committee's work and foreshadowed a pitched battle in the Senate.

The centerpiece of the six-bill package, a measure to bar big tech companies from favoring their own products in a range of circumstances on their platforms, was approved early Thursday by a vote of 24 to 20. Known as the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, the legislation would prohibit big platforms from engaging in conduct that advantages their own products or services, or disadvantages other business users, or discriminates among similarly situated business users.

Infrastructure Negotiators Agree to Framework for Package

WASHINGTON-Members of a bipartisan group negotiating a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal said they had crafted a framework for an agreement, and lawmakers plan to meet with President Biden on Thursday to try to complete a deal.

The Democrats and Republicans emerged from a meeting with top White House officials Wednesday saying work would continue on some unresolved details.

NASA's Perseverance Rover Is Looking for Life on Mars

NASA's latest Mars rover is done with its testing and is ready to embark upon its first scientific mission. After landing on the planet in February, the Perseverance rover has been busy trying out its many instruments-converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen that would be needed for manned missions, flying a helicopter and taking photos.

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

06-24-21 0632ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. -0.23% 2715.55 Delayed Quote.55.30%
ANGLO AMERICAN PLC 5.50% 3297.5 Delayed Quote.35.82%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) -0.06% 0.73918 Delayed Quote.-4.12%
BIONTECH SE -0.27% 312.59 Delayed Quote.283.45%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) -0.07% 1.39519 Delayed Quote.1.69%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (CAD/USD) 0.00% 0.8026 Delayed Quote.1.67%
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.44% 35084.53 Delayed Quote.14.55%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) -0.08% 1.1878 Delayed Quote.-3.02%
FACEBOOK INC -4.01% 358.32 Delayed Quote.31.18%
INDIAN RUPEE / US DOLLAR (INR/USD) -0.04% 0.013464 Delayed Quote.-1.96%
MITSUBISHI CORPORATION -1.03% 3077 End-of-day quote.21.09%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (NZD/USD) -0.06% 0.7001 Delayed Quote.-3.07%
PFIZER, INC. -0.63% 42.79 Delayed Quote.16.25%
S&P 500 0.42% 4419.15 Delayed Quote.17.18%
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