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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING - Stocks Rebound But -2-

12/01/2021 | 06:18am EST

The current market consensus range for 2021 adjusted Ebitda is 374 million to 391 million pounds ($497.5 million-$520.1 million), the U.K. power generation company said.

Monte Dei Paschi Seeks to Restart Talks With EU as It Looks to Chart Its Future

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA has taken steps to restart talks with the European Commission, as it tries to chart its future after the collapse of talks for it to be sold to UniCredit SpA.

The bank said late on Tuesday that it has made contact with Italy's Ministry of Economy to restart discussions with the Commission's Directorate-General for Competition.

UBS Appoints JPMorgan's Sarah Youngwood as New CFO

UBS Group AG said Wednesday that it has named Sarah Youngwood its new chief financial officer, starting May 2022.

Sarah Youngwood has been CFO of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s consumer and community banking since 2016 and will replace Kirt Gardner at the head of the financial department of the Swiss bank after Mr. Gardner decided to step down, UBS said.

UK Retail Prices Rose in November, Set to Accelerate Further

U.K. retail prices rose year-on-year in November for the first time in two and a half years, with prices set to continue rising over the Christmas period, according to the latest report by Nielsen and the British Retail Consortium.

Overall, prices in British stores rose 0.3% in the month compared with a decline of 0.4% in October, the report said.

UK National Average House Prices Set to Continue to Rise in 2022

U.K. national average house prices are set to climb by 5% on average in 2022 but by 3% in London, according to new data from property portal Rightmove PLC.

Despite sector and regional market variations, strong buyer demand and a historically low available amount of property will continue to raise prices next year, Rightmove said Wednesday.

OPEC+ at a crossroads as oil prices post worst monthly drop since the pandemic began

Major oil producers face a difficult decision on production levels Thursday as a recovery in energy demand hit a setback with the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

"This week's meeting of OPEC+ ministers is shaping up to be one of the most significant since the pandemic demand recovery began, and the key signal will be how much more oil will be added to supply to start the new year," Peter McNally, vice president and global lead at Third Bridge, told MarketWatch.

Omicron Variant Adds Urgency to Covid-19 Vaccine Talks, WTO Chief Says

WASHINGTON-The new Omicron Covid-19 variant has added urgency for the World Trade Organization to act faster on vaccines, the group's leader said Tuesday, as the variant disrupted contentious negotiations aimed at boosting vaccine supplies to poorer countries around the world.

Omicron's emergence forced the WTO to postpone a key ministerial meeting scheduled to start Tuesday in Geneva, with the agenda including discussions over vaccinating billions of people in developing countries by suspending intellectual property rights for vaccines.

GLOBAL NEWS

Derby's Take: Powell Reiterates Importance of Diversity in Boston, Dallas Fed Searches

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated Tuesday that two regional leadership openings at the central bank could be a chance to broaden the diversity of those who help set monetary policy.

Mr. Powell, who was speaking before a Senate committee, was addressing the process under way to replace the leaders of the Boston and Dallas Federal Reserve banks. The leaders of those two institutions stepped down at the end of September after it emerged they actively traded stocks and other investments, some of which are sensitive to changes in monetary policy, while helping to set central-bank policy. The officials' trading drew disapproval from Mr. Powell and others.

Credit-Card Applications Hit Pandemic High

Americans are applying for credit cards at a rate not seen since before the pandemic.

Close to 27% of U.S. consumers said in October that they had applied for a credit card in the past 12 months, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That is the highest level since 2019 and well above the record low of 16% recorded a year ago.

China's Caixin Manufacturing Gauge Slips in November on Weaker Demand

A private gauge measuring activity in China's manufacturing sector slipped in November and fell into contractionary territory, as both domestic and overseas demand waned.

The Caixin China purchasing managers index dropped to 49.9 from 50.6 in October, indicating that overall business conditions faced by Chinese manufacturers were broadly unchanged, according to data released Wednesday by Caixin Media Co. and researcher Markit. A reading below 50 indicates contraction of activity, while a result below 50 means an expansion.

BOJ Policy Board Member Sees Path Toward Higher Prices in Japan

Bank of Japan policy board member Seiji Adachi said Wednesday that he sees a greater chance that the nation's inflation rate will increase after years of flat prices.

Mr. Adachi pointed out changes in Japanese companies' price-setting behavior and improvements in their growth expectations.

Australia Economy Shrinks in Third Quarter But Rebound Already Underway

SYDNEY-Australia's economy shrank in the July-September quarter as efforts to combat the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus forced more than half the country into strict and lengthy lockdowns.

The economy contracted by 1.9% in the third quarter from the previous quarter and grew 3.9% over the year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday. Economists had expected a 2.5% contraction in the third quarter.

Americans Consider China Top National-Security Threat, Survey Finds

Americans listed China as the nation's top foe and their trust in the U.S. military dropped to its lowest levels in three years, according to the first major national-security survey conducted since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

For the first time since the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute began surveying Americans about national security four years ago, a majority of Americans-52%-named China as the nation posing the greatest threat to the U.S. That is up from 21 percent four years ago. Russia came in at a distant 14%-a shift from three years ago when 30% of Americans considered that country to be the biggest risk, while China came in second place at 21%.

Stricter Covid-19 Testing Requirements for Travelers to U.S. Being Considered to Curb Omicron Spread

WASHINGTON-The Biden administration is weighing stricter Covid-19 testing requirements for travelers entering the U.S., including U.S. citizens, to slow the spread of the emerging Omicron variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said rules under consideration would require all travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, to present a negative Covid-19 test within 24 hours of boarding a plane to the U.S., rather than the 72 hours currently allowed for vaccinated travelers. Travelers could also be required to take a second test three to five days after arriving in the U.S.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Biden Vaccine Mandate

A federal judge issued a temporary nationwide block against a Biden administration mandate that millions of healthcare workers get vaccinated against Covid-19 starting next week.

In a ruling issued Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Judge Terry Doughty said there was no question that mandating a vaccine for healthcare workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid is something that should be done by Congress and not by a government agency. Even then the judge said it was unclear whether such a mandate would be constitutional.

Write to paul.larkins@dowjones.com

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This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-01-21 0618ET

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