EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING - Stocks Deep in Red as -2-

06/30/2022 | 05:45am

Bunzl PLC said Thursday that it has upgraded its guidance for the full year and currently expects robust revenue growth and operating margins to be slightly higher than historical levels, driven by acquisitions and organic revenue growth.

The London-listed distribution-and-outsourcing group said it expects revenue for the first half of 2022 to increase by around 12% to 13% on an on-year basis at constant exchange rates, "with inflation continuing to drive underlying revenue growth and the impact of acquisitions further supplementing growth."

UniCredit Sells $1.36 Bln Nonperforming Loans Portfolio to Illimity Bank

UniCredit SpA said Thursday that it has reached an agreement with Illimity Bank SpA to sell a mixed nonperforming loans portfolio worth roughly 1.3 billion euros ($1.36 billion).

The Italian bank said the impact of the sale would be registered in its financial statements for the second quarter.

U.K. Car Manufacturing Rose in May for First Time in 11 Months

U.K. car manufacturing rose in May for the first time since last June, an industry body said Thursday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said a total of 62,284 cars drove off the production lines in May, compared with 54,962 in May 2021. However this was well below May 2019's prepandemic figure of 116,035.

Israel to Hold Fifth Election in Four Years After Parliament Dissolved

TEL AVIV-Israeli lawmakers voted early Thursday to dissolve parliament, marking the end of the first Israeli coalition government to include an independent Arab party and setting the stage for the country's fifth general election in less than four years.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, a centrist, is expected to become the country's caretaker prime minister at midnight under a coalition agreement. He will remain so until a new government is formed after voters go to the polls on Nov. 1.

U.K. Fines Johnson Matthey Subsidiary Over Syria Sanctions Violation

The U.K.'s sanctions regulator fined a United Arab Emirates-based subsidiary of a U.K. company for violating sanctions on Syria.

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation said Wednesday that it imposed a penalty of GBP15,000, equivalent to about $18,200, against Tracerco Ltd., a provider of oil-and-gas measuring products and services that is a subsidiary of London-based specialty chemicals company Johnson Matthey PLC.

U.S. to Ramp Up Military Presence in Europe to Counter Russia

MADRID-The U.S. will make its biggest military expansion in Europe since the Cold War, including its first permanent troop presence in Poland, as NATO prepares for two more members to join the alliance in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The announcement, which follows a NATO pledge this week to increase its high-readiness forces sevenfold, comes despite Washington's efforts to shift U.S. attention toward China and offers further evidence of how Russia's war is upending international security.

Key Participant in 2015 Paris Terror Attacks Sentenced to Life in Prison, the Harshest Punishment Under French Law

PARIS-The highest-profile surviving participant of a 2015 terrorist attack that killed 130 people across Paris in a single night was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison after a monthslong trial that aimed to close one of the more painful chapters in France's modern history.

Salah Abdeslam, 32 years old, was one of 10 Islamic State attackers who fanned out across the nation's capital on Nov. 13, 2015, nine of whom died in shootouts with police or detonated suicide vests. The killing spree was the deadliest in a string of terrorist attacks targeting France at the time, leaving hundreds dead and reshaping everyday life in the country.


China's Economy Returns to Growth Mode as Covid Lockdowns Lift

SINGAPORE-Economic activity in China expanded in June after three straight months of contraction, according to official surveys of businesses and factories that point to a modest recovery after Covid-19 restrictions were eased in the world's second-largest economy.

Economists are downbeat about the prospects for a major revival, however, given the darkening global backdrop and the risk of further Covid outbreaks.

Talking Markets: Yen to Face More Pressure as BOJ Stays the Course

The yen faces further weakness in the third quarter even after recently hitting a 24-year low against the U.S. dollar, as the Bank of Japan appears likely to maintain its ultra-accommodative monetary policy, analysts say.

Interest-rate differentials between Japan and the U.S. could widen further over the next few months as the BOJ keeps its main policy rates around zero while the Federal Reserve raises its benchmark federal-funds rate further from the current range between 1.50% and 1.75% to tackle high inflation. BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has said that monetary policy needs to stay accommodative because Japan's economy hasn't fully recovered from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

U.S. GDP's Early 2022 Dip Was Bigger Than Previously Thought

The U.S. economy entered the second quarter on shakier footing than previously thought.

Consumer spending, the economy's main engine, was much softer in the first quarter than previously reported, according to Commerce Department gross domestic product revisions released Wednesday. Spending grew at a revised annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter, down from a previous estimate of 3.1%.

Crypto Hedge Fund Three Arrows Ordered by Court to Liquidate

A British Virgin Islands court ordered the liquidation of Three Arrows Capital Ltd. after creditors sued the cryptocurrency hedge fund for failure to repay debts.

Nichol Yeo, a partner at law firm Solitaire LLP, said Three Arrows Capital is considering its options and seeking legal advice in the British Virgin Islands.

Biden and Leaders of Japan and South Korea Pledge Greater Cooperation

President Biden met with the heads of Japan and South Korea-the first such gathering between the three countries' leaders in nearly five years-and pledged deeper cooperation to counter North Korea's weapons provocations.

The Wednesday meeting, on the sidelines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Madrid, was another example of increased coordination between Washington and two of its key Asian allies. Tokyo-Seoul relations are on a tentative recovery path after deteriorating in recent years over historical grievances and trade disputes.

U.S. Blacklists Five Chinese Firms for Allegedly Helping Russia's Military

The U.S. Commerce Department added five Chinese companies to an export blacklist for allegedly helping Russia's military despite U.S. and allied efforts to cut off Russia's access to technology following its invasion of Ukraine.

Commerce officials said the companies had supplied items to Russian entities of concern before Russia's Feb. 24 invasion and "continue to contract to supply" sanctioned Russian entities. They didn't provide details on the technology involved.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-30-22 0544ET

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