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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING - Stocks Fall After -2-

10/27/2021 | 06:12am EST

Aluminum prices fell close to a two-month low as supply concerns ease. The metal has fallen over the past two weeks after hitting a 13-year high. Rising energy costs initially raised concerns that energy-intensive aluminum smelters could cut back on production. But China has been taking steps to curb rising coal prices, the latest of which is China's state planner asking coal-producing provinces to probe illegal storage sites and crack down on hoarding.

Prices for Chinese thermal coal, which powers much of the nation's aluminum smelters, have dropped over 9% this week as of Tuesday. Falling coal prices are easing concerns in the aluminum market.

EMEA HEADLINES

German Consumer Confidence Is Expected to Increase in November, Defying Inflation

Consumer sentiment in Germany is expected to strengthen in November, due to increasing propensity to consume and declining propensity to save, according to data from market-research group GfK released on Wednesday.

GfK's forward-looking consumer sentiment index forecasts confidence among households rising to 0.9 point in November from a revised figure of 0.4 point in October. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal anticipated a drop, expecting sentiment to decline to minus 0.3 point.

Deutsche Bank Reports Higher Profit as Loan Charges Fall

Deutsche Bank AG said its third-quarter net profit rose as lower bad-loan charges helped offset a fall in investment banking revenue and additional costs for its overhaul.

Still, the German lender said it is on track to meet ambitious financial targets next year, a key test for Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing, who in 2019 vowed to make the bank leaner and more profitable following years of broken promises from his predecessors.

Europe's Push to Loosen Russian Influence on Gas Prices Bites Back

For years, the European Union tried to loosen Russia's iron grip on its gas supplies by fostering a competitive import market. Those efforts have boomeranged this year as supplies run short, setting off an energy crisis across the continent.

European energy ministers met Tuesday to address the shortage, which is stinging homeowners and lifting prices for goods from metals to fertilizers. But there is little they can do to boost supplies immediately, and Russia isn't helping.

Heineken Nine-Month Net Profit Rose, 2021 Views Unchanged

Heineken NV said Wednesday that profit for the first nine months of the year rose significantly while beer volumes increased, and left its expectations for the full year unchanged.

The Dutch brewer--which also owns the Sol, Birra Moretti and Tiger beer brands--said that for the first nine months of 2021, it made a net profit of 3.08 billion euros ($3.57 billion), up from EUR396 million a year earlier and EUR1.67 billion for the same period in 2019.

BASF Raises Guidance After Posting Strong 3Q Sales

BASF SE on Wednesday raised its 2021 guidance after it said it generated strong sales growth in the third quarter.

The German chemicals conglomerate said it swung to a net profit of 1.25 billion euros ($1.45 billion) for the quarter to the end of September, compared with a net loss of EUR2.12 billion a year earlier.

Puma Raises 2021 Outlook After Profit, Sales Increased in 3Q

Puma SE said Wednesday that third-quarter net profit and sales rose as it increased part of its guidance for the full year.

The German sporting-goods company said quarterly net profit rose to 143.8 million euros ($166.7 million) from EUR113.6 million for the same quarter a year earlier.

Santander 3Q Profit Rose on Lower Provisions, Higher Revenue

Banco Santander SA on Wednesday said it is set to outperform its profitability guidance after reporting higher earnings in the third quarter on increased revenues and lower provisions.

The Spanish lender reported a net profit of 2.17 billion euros ($2.52 billion) from July to September, compared with a EUR1.75 billion profit in the same period a year earlier. The figure is above analysts' expectations of EUR2.03 billion, according to a consensus provided by FactSet.

Equinor Raises Buyback as Earnings Boosted by High Oil and Gas Prices

Equinor ASA on Wednesday posted higher-than-expected third-quarter adjusted earnings and raised the size of its share buyback as it benefited from the higher oil and gas prices during the quarter.

The company, which is 67%-owned by the Norwegian state, said adjusted earnings--its preferred measure--rose to $9.77 billion from $780 million, against $8.36 billion expected in a company-compiled consensus.

DraftKings Abandons $22 Billion Bid for Entain

DraftKings Inc. is dropping its roughly $22 billion bid for Entain PLC, turning away from an attempt to buy a major international player in the gambling industry.

DraftKings, based in Boston, said that the decision to step back from its cash-and-stock offer followed negotiations with Entain's leadership team. DraftKings first acknowledged making a bid for the company in September. Earlier this month it agreed to extend the talks, with a deadline of Nov. 16 under U.K. takeover law to formalize its bid or walk away.

Ukraine Wins Back Golden Treasures at Center of Dispute With Russia

MOSCOW-A Dutch appeals court ruled in favor of Ukraine in the case of a priceless collection of Crimean gold that Ukraine and Russia both claimed as their own, the latest in a cross-national dispute that had come to epitomize the Black Sea peninsula's complex and contested history.

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal said Tuesday it found no cause to reverse the earlier decision of a lower court that ordered the return of the treasures to Ukraine.

GLOBAL NEWS

U.S. Bans China Telecom Over National Security Concerns

The Federal Communications Commission revoked the license that allows China's largest telecom operator to do business in the U.S., citing national security concerns, dealing the latest in a series of blows against major Chinese businesses in the country.

The FCC said it was taking action against the state-owned China Telecom Corp.'s U.S. business because the company was "subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government."

U.S. Consumer Confidence Rose as Delta Covid-19 Wave Eased

U.S. consumer confidence increased in October following three months of declines, as the wave of Covid-19 cases due to the Delta variant started to ease.

The consumer confidence index increased to 113.8 in October from a revised 109.8 in September, according to data from the Conference Board released Tuesday. The indicator came in above the 108.0 estimate from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Home-Price Growth Holds at Record in August

Home-price growth held at a record high in August, as demand from home buyers remained robust despite skyrocketing prices.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 19.8% in the year that ended in August, unchanged from the prior month.

Tax Proposals Hit Headwinds as Democrats Try to Finalize Social-Spending Deal

WASHINGTON-An 11th-hour push by Democrats to fund their social-spending and climate bill faltered, with a proposed tax on billionaires' unrealized capital gains and revised bank-reporting requirements both running into opposition from party lawmakers.

Democrats have scrambled for days to find hundreds of billions of dollars of new revenue acceptable to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.), who is opposed to the increases in the top marginal rates on companies, capital gains and personal income that the party planned to rely on to finance the bill. With Republicans opposed to the package, Democrats need unanimous support to pass the legislation in the 50-50 Senate and can afford to lose only a few votes in the House.

Chinese Industrial Companies' Profits Rebound in September

BEIJING--Chinese industrial companies' profits rebounded in September, ending a six-month slide in growth, official data showed Wednesday.

The growth was driven by the high-tech manufacturing industry, pharmaceutical enterprises and the steady recovery of profits in the consumer-goods manufacturing industry.

U.N. Finds Nations' Climate Plans Fall Short of Paris Accord

The world's emissions-reduction plans would allow far more global warming than targeted in the Paris climate accord, and some of the biggest emitters, including the U.S., aren't on track to hit their pollution targets, according to a report from the United Nations.

Tuesday's report adds urgency to the summit set to begin in a few days in Glasgow, Scotland, the first major climate meeting since more than 190 nations signed the Paris agreement in 2015. Countries are searching for ways to reach the agreement's goals, which call for them to ensure the rise in global temperatures by the end of the century is well under 2 degrees Celsius compared with the preindustrial era, and to strive to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

Inflation Could Mean Value Stocks' Time to Shine

Bitcoin, gold, oil, real estate-many assets are finding themselves on investors' radar screens as concerns about inflation grow. The best refuge might be one that has been out of fashion for a while, though: boring old value stocks.

Value investing had a brief moment of superior performance early this year, only to sink back into second-class status as stocks like Tesla with triple-digit earnings multiples-and many with no earnings at all-surged anew. A broad basket of cheap stocks represented by the Russell 3000 Value Index has appreciated by a respectable 80% in the past five years. Russell's corresponding basket of growth stocks has done more than 100 percentage points better, however.

Terror Groups in Afghanistan Could Be Ready to Attack West in 6 Months, U.S. Says

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

10-27-21 0611ET

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