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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING: Caution Dominates as -2-

The Danish wind-turbine maker posted a net profit of 89 million euros ($104.4 million) in the quarter, compared with a loss of EUR7 million a year earlier, missing a company-compiled analyst consensus of EUR102 million. Revenue of EUR3.54 billion missed the EUR3.7 billion expected, it said.

   
 
 

Thyssenkrupp Swung to 3Q Net Profit

Thyssenkrupp AG on Wednesday posted a swing to net profit for the third quarter on improved sales and orders, despite a challenging market.

The German industrial conglomerate said net income was 125 million euros ($146.5 million) for the quarter compared with a loss of EUR678 million for the same period of the previous year.

   
 
 

E.ON 2Q Profit Increased; Raises 2021 View

E.ON SE said Wednesday that profit more than doubled in the second quarter as business benefited from weather factors as well as an agreement on output rights in Germany.

The German utility company said it booked a quarterly net profit of 1.75 billion euros ($2.06 billion) compared with EUR599 million the year prior. On an adjusted basis, profit came in at EUR956 million.

   
 
 

Prudential 1H Headline Profit Rose; Still Mulling $2.5B-$3B Equity Issue

Prudential PLC on Wednesday reported a 22% rise in its headline operating profit, boosted by Asia and Africa as well as lower central costs, and said that it is still considering a $2.5 billion to $3.0 billion equity raising once the spinoff of its U.S. business completes, which is expected next month.

The insurance-and-investment business made an IFRS adjusted operating profit from continuing operations--one of the company's preferred metrics which strips out exceptional and other one-off items and is a closely watched figure for the industry--of $1.57 billion compared with $1.29 billion for the same period a year ago.

   
 
 

German Consumer Prices Rose Strongly in July in Line With Forecasts

German consumer prices climbed in July, confirming preliminary data, the German statistics office Destatis said Wednesday.

Consumer prices rose 3.8% on year measured by national standards, in line with the forecast by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. They rose 3.1% on year by European Union-harmonized standards, also as forecast.

   
 
 

Ahold Delhaize 2Q Net Profit, Revenue Fell But Beat Forecasts

Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV on Wednesday reported falls in both second-quarter net profit and revenue, although both metrics still beat analysts' forecasts, and raised its full-year guidance.

The Dutch grocer made a net profit for the second quarter of 540 million euros ($633 million) compared with EUR693 million for the year-earlier period and a consensus of EUR483 million taken from the company's website and based on 16 analysts' forecasts.

   
 
 

ABN AMRO Swung to 2Q Net Profit

ABN AMRO Bank NV reported Wednesday a swing to net profit for the second quarter of 2021 after booking a net impairment release.

The Dutch lender posted a net profit of 393 million euros ($460.7 million) compared with a loss of EUR5 million for the same period a year earlier and said that it is committed to resuming the payment of dividends at a ratio of 50% of net profit.

   
 
 

Deliveroo 1H Pretax Loss Narrowed as Revenue Rose; Backs 2021 Forecast

Deliveroo PLC on Wednesday reported a narrowed first-half pretax loss and backed its full-year forecast.

The U.K. food-delivery company, which started trading on the London Stock Exchange on April 7, hasn't declared a dividend as it focuses on investing in its growth, but said this policy will be reviewed on a continuing basis. It doesn't expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future.

   
 
 

France, Italy Require Proof of Covid-19 Status for Restaurants, Bars

PARIS-Julien Zerbos turned away some would-be diners on Monday from the brasserie on Paris's Champs-Élysées where he works because they didn't have the European Union's new digital health certificate.

France began requiring the passes, which certify that somebody has been vaccinated against Covid-19, on Monday for people seeking to dine at a restaurant, whether indoors or outdoors. The pass is now also necessary to take domestic flights and long-distance buses and trains. France already made the pass mandatory last month for a host of other activities such as entrance to museums, pools, gyms and large sports events.

   
 
 
   
 
 

GLOBAL NEWS

Inflation Likely Eased Slightly in July as Economy Rebounded

Inflation likely remained elevated but ebbed slightly in July, as the economy rebounded amid pandemic-related shortages of labor and supplies, economists say.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the Labor Department to report the consumer-price index rose 5.3% in July from a year earlier, a bit slower than June's 5.4% surge and still close to the highest 12-month rate since 2008. The so-called core price index, which excludes the often volatile categories of food and energy, likely increased 4.4% from a year before, they estimate.

   
 
 

Fed's Evans Open to Reducing Asset Purchases Later This Year

The economy is on track to later this year satisfy the Federal Reserve's threshold to begin reducing its $120 billion in monthly asset purchases, a top central bank official said Tuesday.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he expected recent employment gains to continue, which would allow the Fed to declare that the economy has achieved the "substantial further progress" it laid out last December.

   
 
 

China's Corporate Crackdown Drives Investors to Industries Beijing Supports

The corporate crackdown in China that has hammered internet stocks is driving investors to sectors still in Beijing's good graces, such as high-tech manufacturing and renewable energy.

Shares of Chinese semiconductor companies, electric-vehicle manufacturers and solar-panel makers listed in mainland China climbed over the past month while shares of technology giants and companies that provide after-school tutoring suffered massive selloffs.

   
 
 

Most GOP Senators Sign Pledge to Not Help Democrats on Debt Ceiling

WASHINGTON-Most Republican senators have signed on to a pledge to force Democrats to raise the debt ceiling through procedures that don't rely on GOP votes, escalating the political tug of war over who is responsible for keeping the U.S. from defaulting.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) said in an interview that some 46 Republicans have signed on to a letter that he circulated during a rapid-fire series of votes on a budget resolution that kicks off Democrats' efforts to pass a $3.5 trillion cornerstone of President Biden's agenda.

   
 
 

Senate Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON-The Senate passed a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure package with broad bipartisan support Tuesday, advancing a central piece of President Biden's economic agenda that would amount to one of the most substantial federal investments in roads, bridges and rail in decades.

With 19 Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) joining all 50 Democrats to pass the bill 69 to 30, the legislation sailed through the Senate. The bill will face a more complicated path in the House, where Democrats have yoked the fate of the infrastructure effort to the passage of a broad $3.5 trillion antipoverty and climate effort.

   
 
 

Senate Passes Democrats' $3.5 Trillion Budget Blueprint

WASHINGTON-The Senate passed a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint early Wednesday, the first step in an arduous process designed to allow Democrats to push through a sweeping package of education, healthcare, climate and other provisions without GOP support.

The party line vote, 50-49, came just before 4 a.m., one day after the Senate passed a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. It is an initial victory for President Biden and congressional Democrats who are seeking to pass as much of their legislative agenda as possible this year, before next year's midterm elections overtake Capitol Hill.

   
 
 

Air China Stock Will Struggle to Lift Off

This column is part of the Heard on the Street stock-picking contest. You're invited to play along with us here.

After a disastrous 2020, travel has begun recovering in 2021, offering some hope for beleaguered airline investors. Chinese airlines weathered the initial storm relatively well, as domestic tourism roared back and helped cushion the hit to international travel. But with China now fighting to contain the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19, domestic tourism is again struggling, and the day the nation reopens its international borders is looking ever farther off.

   
 
 

Texas Hospitals Are Near Capacity as Covid-19 Surges Again

AUSTIN, Texas-Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday asked hospitals to delay elective medical procedures, as rising Covid-19 cases bring hospitals in many parts of the nation's second-largest state to capacity.

In Austin, city and county officials used an emergency alert system over the weekend to text and call residents with the warning that the hospital situation is critical, as the number of available intensive care unit beds in a metro area of more than two million residents dwindled to single digits. In Houston, hospitals are into surge capacity and local officials tracking the city's wastewater system are finding evidence of higher-than-ever levels of Covid-19.

   
 
 

Biden to Urge Businesses to Require Covid-19 Vaccine for Workers

WASHINGTON-President Biden will meet Wednesday with the chief executives of United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Kaiser Permanente in a bid to encourage more companies to follow their lead and require workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Howard University President Wayne Frederick and Diane Sumpter, a small business leader from South Carolina, are also expected to attend the virtual meeting alongside United CEO Scott Kirby and Kaiser Permanente CEO Gregory Adams, a White House official said.

   
 
 

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul Begins Transition Following Gov. Cuomo's Resignation

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August 11, 2021 06:25 ET (10:25 GMT)

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