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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING - Stocks Fall, ECB in -2-

10/28/2021 | 06:18am EST

The data could also inform how quickly the Fed moves to raise interest rates. Copper is often seen as a barometer for economic growth, while gold is highly sensitive to investors' interest rate expectations.

EMEA HEADLINES

Nokia 3Q Beats Forecasts But Component Shortages Cost Could Weigh on Margins Next Year

Nokia Corp. on Thursday posted a forecast-beating rise in third-quarter net profit and now expects full-year margins to land at the top of its guidance range. However, it cautioned that both the availability and "unprecendented" cost inflation of components could hurt margins next year.

The company's comparable net profit for the quarter rose to 454 million euros ($526.8 million) from EUR300 million a year earlier, as sales rose 2.0% to EUR5.4 billion.

UniCredit Lifts 2021 Guidance After Beating Expectations on 3Q

UniCredit SpA on Thursday reported a jump in third-quarter net profit and lifted its targets for the full year.

The Italian bank's net profit rose to 1.06 billion euros ($1.23 billion) from EUR680 million a year earlier. It was significantly ahead of analysts' median estimate of EUR825 million based on company-compiled consensus.

Lloyds 3Q Beat Expectations as Pretax Profit Nearly Doubled

Lloyds Banking Group PLC reported on Thursday a nearly doubled pretax profit for the third quarter of 2021, beating market views.

The FTSE 100 listed bank posted a pretax profit of 2.03 billion pounds ($2.79 billion) for the quarter, up from GBP1.04 billion for the same period a year earlier. Pretax profit was expected to reach GBP1.35 billion, according to the bank's compiled consensus.

Shell 3Q Adjusted Earnings Fell as Hurricane Ida Hurt Business -- Update

Royal Dutch Shell PLC on Thursday reported that its earnings fell 25% in the third quarter after Hurricane Ida hurt its operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Anglo-Dutch oil-and-gas major said its adjusted earnings were $4.13 billion for the period, down from $5.53 billion in the second quarter and below market expectations of $5.31 billion, provided by Vara Research and averaged from 22 analysts' estimates.

Volkswagen Backs Profit Target for 2021 After 3Q Hit by Chip Shortage

Volkswagen AG on Thursday confirmed its guidance for profitability for the year after third-quarter operating profit and revenue declined as the car maker was affected by the global semiconductor shortage.

The German car maker said quarterly operating profit came in at 2.60 billion euros ($3.02 billion), compared with EUR3.18 billion the same period a year earlier.

AB InBev 3Q Revenue, Headline Ebitda Rose; Raises FY Guidance

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA on Thursday reported a rise in both revenue and third-quarter headline Ebitda, and raised its full-year guidance.

The world's largest brewer--which also houses the Stella Artois and Budweiser brands among its portfolio--attributed its performance to "relentless execution, investment in our brands and accelerated digital transformation."

Sanofi 3Q Profit, Sales Grew; Raises 2021 Business EPS View

Sanofi SA on Thursday posted higher net profit and sales for the third quarter compared with the previous year, and raised its guidance for business earnings per share for the full year.

The French pharma major posted net profit of 2.32 billion euros ($2.69 billion) up from EUR1.95 billion in the same quarter a year prior, on sales which grew to EUR10.43 billion from EUR9.48 billion in 2020.

WPP 3Q Revenue Grew in All Regions and Markets; Lifts 2021 Guidance

WPP PLC said Thursday that its third-quarter revenue grew and raised its full-year guidance.

Total revenue for the quarter was 3.24 billion pounds ($4.45 billion), up 9.1% on a reported basis and 14.7% on a like-for-like basis on year.

More Travelers Are Heading to Europe in 2022 After the Pandemic Sank Vacation Plans

More travelers are starting to think big about vacations again.

After a long stretch of mainly short-term travel planning, inquiries are picking up for trips well into 2022, according to data from hotels and travel-industry analysts. The booking rates are starting to trend closer to pre-pandemic levels, analysts say.

GLOBAL NEWS

BOJ Lowers Outlook for Japan Growth, Inflation

TOKYO-The Bank of Japan lowered its growth forecast, reflecting supply-chain constraints that have weighed on exports and production, and said it didn't see significant inflation coming.

In its quarterly outlook report released Thursday, the bank's policy board projected the Japanese economy would expand 3.4% in the current fiscal year ending March 2022, compared with its previous projection of 3.8% released in July. It said it expects 2.9% growth in the year ending March 2023, up from a previous projection of 2.7% growth.

Iran to Return to Nuclear Deal Talks in Vienna Next Month

Iran will return to nuclear talks before the end of November, its chief negotiator said Wednesday, restoring the Biden administration's hopes that it can revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran's return to the negotiations would end a five-month hiatus in talks that has enabled Tehran's new hardline government to press ahead with its nuclear program.

SEC Won't Approve Leveraged Bitcoin Fund

The Securities and Exchange Commission asked at least one asset manager not to proceed with plans for a leveraged bitcoin exchange-traded fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The SEC indicated it wants to limit new bitcoin-related products to those that provide unleveraged exposure to bitcoin futures contracts, such as the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which was launched last week, the person said.

CFTC Chief Says Recent Crypto Cases Are 'Tip of the Iceberg'

WASHINGTON-The acting head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Wednesday that he plans to continue aggressively policing cryptocurrency markets and called on Congress to consider expanding his agency's authority to do so.

Rostin Behnam, the CFTC's acting chairman, noted that the agency has settled two enforcement actions against cryptocurrency companies totaling $140 million. "But this is the tip of the iceberg," he said in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Antidepressant Significantly Reduces Covid-19 Hospitalization

A widely available antidepressant holds promise as a treatment for Covid-19, according to a new study.

Covid-19 patients who received fluvoxamine were significantly less likely to require hospitalization than those who didn't, in the largest clinical trial evaluating the antidepressant's effect on Covid-19 to date.

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

10-28-21 0617ET

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