EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING : Stocks Rise as -2-

09/16/2021 | 06:43am

Airbus, which has been exploring three hydrogen-powered aircraft concepts, said the joint study would help it understand the practical challenges of putting an aircraft powered by a renewable energy source into service. Air New Zealand would assess the possible impact that a hydrogen aircraft would have on its network, operations and infrastructure.

Veolia Launches EUR2.5 Bln Capital Increase to Fund Suez Acquisition

Veolia Environnement SA is launching a capital increase of 2.5 billion euros ($2.95 billion) to partly fund its takeover of Suez SA.

The French resource-management company said Thursday that the raise would provide a lifeline to acquire a 70.1% stake in Suez, valued at around EUR9 billion. Veolia already owns a 29.9% stake in the company.

DP World Invests GBP300 Mln in London Logistics Hub

DP World said Thursday that it will invest 300 million pounds ($415.3 million) on a fourth berth at its London Gateway logistics hub to increase its supply-chain resilience and create more capacity.

The supply-chain solutions company said that the total sum builds on the GBP2 billion investment made in Britain over the last decade.

U.S. to Share Nuclear Submarine Technology With Australia in New Pact

WASHINGTON-The U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia are creating a new security partnership in the Indo-Pacific, building on the longstanding alliance between the three to share intelligence, deepen cooperation and help Australia to build nuclear-powered submarine capabilities as China's influence grows.

The new agreement, announced Wednesday by leaders of the three countries, was described by administration officials as a way to line up common interests in the Asia Pacific.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Shifts Dominic Raab Aside in Cabinet Reorganization

LONDON-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Wednesday shuffled a number of top ministerial jobs in a bid to enforce discipline within Conservative Party ranks and move on from the Covid-19 crisis.

The most high-profile change was Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was moved aside to head the justice ministry while also being given the title of deputy prime minister.

Triago's Matthew Swain Sees Bumper Crop of Family-Owned Company Deals

Placement and advisory firm Triago in Paris has promoted Matthew Swain to managing partner and co-leader of Americas operations with Victor Quiroga, founding partner, based in New York. The moves are part of a personnel push that also included hiring Valerie Auffray as a partner in London. Triago advises fund sponsors and investors on fundraising as well as on secondary deals and direct investments. WSJ Pro Private Equity spoke to Mr. Swain about what is shaping up to be one of the busiest years in the firm's history. Responses have been edited for clarity.

WSJ Pro: How have you seen the rebound in deal and fundraising activity this year affect your business?

GLOBAL NEWS

Jobless Claims Likely Remained Near Pandemic Low Last Week

Jobless claims likely held near a pandemic low last week, as layoffs ease despite a rise in coronavirus cases tied to the Delta variant.

Economists expect a Labor Department report on Thursday to show initial unemployment claims rose slightly to 320,000 last week from a pandemic low of 310,000 a week earlier. Delayed filings following Hurricane Ida, which hit Louisiana at the end of August, could have contributed to a small increase last week, some economists say.

U.S. Retail Sales Likely Took a Hit From Delta Variant

Product shortages and the Delta variant are preventing many Americans from spending at retailers, restraining the economic recovery.

U.S. retail sales likely fell for the second straight month in August, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The Commerce Department will release official figures at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

Rising Shipping Costs Are Companies' Latest Inflation Riddle

Transportation costs-typically a fraction of a finished product's price-are emerging as another supply-chain hurdle, overwhelming some companies already paying more for raw materials and labor.

The fabric and crafts retailer Jo-Ann Stores LLC said it has spent 10 times more than its historical cost in some cases to move products from one point to another.

Elizabeth Warren Calls On Fed Banks to Bar Leaders From Stock Trading

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) is calling on regional Federal Reserve Banks to set rules that would prevent their leaders from trading individual stocks, following recent disclosures that the chiefs of the Boston and Dallas banks actively traded stocks and other investments last year.

"The controversy over asset trading by high-level Fed personnel highlights why it is necessary to ban ownership and trading of individual stocks by senior officials who are supposed to serve the public interest," Ms. Warren wrote in letters addressed to the leaders of the 12 regional Fed banks.

FTC Moves Toward Stricter Antitrust Scrutiny of Vertical Mergers

WASHINGTON-A divided Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday withdrew guidelines adopted just last year on how the government reviews so-called vertical mergers of companies that don't directly compete with one another, the latest signal the agency is looking to escalate antitrust scrutiny of deal making.

FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, during a virtual public meeting, said she was concerned that the recent Trump-era guidelines gave too much credit to business efficiencies and other potential upsides of vertical mergers while not fully recognizing the harms that some of those deals could create in the marketplace.

Covid-19 Pandemic Aid Kept Millions of Americans Out of Poverty in 2020

The sweeping financial assistance Congress provided to Americans earlier in the Covid-19 pandemic kept millions from sliding into poverty during the worst economic fallout from the crisis, new census figures show.

The U.S. poverty rate rose in 2020 after five years of annual declines, according to data released by the Census Bureau this week. But the broader Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in some expenses and accounts for a wider range of income-including hundreds of billions of dollars in pandemic aid-dropped to a record low 9.1%, marking the first time that yardstick has fallen below the official poverty rate.

Evergrande's Woes Fuel Selloff in Chinese Property Shares

A selloff in Chinese property stocks intensified Thursday, as concern mounted about the effects of an official campaign to rein in the sector that has already sparked turmoil at China Evergrande Group.

The Lippo Select HK & Mainland Property Index dropped 4.9%, closing at its lowest level in more than four years, FactSet data showed. The drawdown in property shares helped pull Hong Kong's flagship Hang Seng Index down about 1.5% to 24667.85, the benchmark's lowest closing value of 2021.

Taiwan Plans to Bulk Up Military Budget to Contend with Chinese Pressure

PINGTUNG, Taiwan-Taiwan plans to significantly increase military spending in the next five years, according to a draft bill that calls for new outlays on weapons systems that would better equip the island to repel an attack by China.

The proposal, unveiled by Taiwan's cabinet on Thursday, calls for the allocation of the equivalent of about $8.7 billion, over the next five years to fund the acquisition of homegrown precision missiles, high-performance naval ships and weapons systems for existing warships.

France Says It Has Killed Islamic State Leader Responsible for Deaths of U.S. Soldiers

France said Thursday it had killed Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the Islamic State leader who led the killing of four U.S. servicemen in Niger in 2017 and was the architect of one of the terrorist outfit's most successful franchises following the group's loss of its Middle East territories.

"This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel," French President Emmanuel Macron said, referring to the vast semiarid region south of the Sahara that has become home to some of the world's most deadly jihadist cells. He didn't provide details on when or where precisely al-Sahrawi had died.

Afghan Refugees on U.S. Military Bases Wait to Begin Their New Lives in America

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany-In between the threat of Taliban violence and the promise of American freedom lies this large military installation, which has become a conduit between two worlds for thousands of Afghans.

Many of the Afghans arriving here say they were both hopeful and shellshocked from split-second decisions to leave home, probably forever, and head to the U.S. They are being met by U.S. military personnel, whose missions were transformed overnight from fighting on the front lines to embracing evacuees fleeing the end of nearly 20 years of war.

Parents Seek Out Covid-19 Vaccine Trials for Their Children Ahead of Official Authorization

Rachael DiFransico's 14-month-old daughter Sybil chewed on a plastic toy at a doctor's office in the Cleveland suburbs while waiting one recent day to enroll in a study testing whether a Covid-19 vaccine works safely in children.

"This trial is our best shot at getting the vaccine as quickly as possible," said Ms. DiFransico, who said she wanted Sybil to be able to spend more time with other children and extended family. "We want some semblance of normalcy for her."

U.S. to Share Nuclear Submarine Technology With Australia in New Pact

WASHINGTON-The U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia are creating a new security partnership in the Indo-Pacific, building on the longstanding alliance between the three to share intelligence, deepen cooperation and help Australia to build nuclear-powered submarine capabilities as China's influence grows.

The new agreement, announced Wednesday by leaders of the three countries, was described by administration officials as a way to line up common interests in the Asia Pacific.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

09-16-21 0642ET

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