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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING - Caution Dominates -2-

A global agreement to set a minimum 15% corporate tax rate cleared its last major hurdle Thursday after Ireland, a low-tax country that is the European headquarters for some of the largest U.S. tech companies, said it would join the overhaul effort.

The change in Irish policy comes ahead of a Friday meeting of 140 governments and jurisdictions that have for years been negotiating a way of taxing international companies to limit avoidance and divide tax revenue in a way they say is fairer. The group seems likely to give its backing to a final agreement that would aim for implementation in 2023.


Pfizer Asks FDA to Authorize Covid-19 Vaccine in Young Children

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have asked U.S. health regulators to green light their Covid-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old, setting up the shot to potentially be available to millions of youngsters in a matter of weeks.

The companies said Thursday that they submitted the application for authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


EU Offers No New Pledges to Take in Afghan Refugees

European Union countries have made no new pledges to take in Afghan refugees, almost two months after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, despite promises to provide a way for at-risk groups, especially women, to leave the country.

At a resettlement forum in Brussels on Thursday, the United Nations called on EU member states to resettle 42,500 Afghans over the next five years, a figure that EU officials called doable but wouldn't commit to.



U.S. Job Growth Likely Picked Up in September

U.S. job growth likely rebounded last month as schools reopened and leisure and hospitality businesses stepped up hiring. But a persistent shortage of workers is restraining the labor market's recovery, economists say.

Economists estimate that employers created 500,000 jobs in September, more than double the number added in August, according to a Wall Street Journal survey. The jobless rate is believed to have declined to 5.1% from 5.2% a month earlier.


The Fed May Start Tapering, But Mortgage Rates Play By Their Own Rules

The Federal Reserve is finally planning to taper off its mortgage-bond buying, so investors and homebuyers might be anticipating some big swings in mortgage rates. But, as with just about everything in the home-lending business, things aren't so simple.

The amount that any borrower pays can be as unique as the home they are buying. Still, there are some major inputs that typically influence mortgage rates' direction beyond just underlying interest rates. Two of the biggest: The yields on bonds that package up mortgages for investors, and the potential profit on selling mortgages into those bonds.


Debt-Limit Bill Passes Senate, Heads to House

WASHINGTON-The Senate voted along party lines Thursday to raise the U.S. borrowing limit into December, after Democrats struck a short-term agreement with Republican leaders that averted a looming default for now but sets up another showdown within months.

The key moment came earlier in the evening, when 11 Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in a vote to break the 60-vote filibuster threshold and proceed to final passage of the measure, which cleared the Senate 50 to 48, with two Republican absences.


China Services Activity Rebounded in September

A private gauge of China's services sector rebounded strongly in September after slipping into contraction in August as the latest wave of coronavirus infections hit close-contact services and consumption demand.

The Caixin China services purchasing managers index rose to 53.4 from 46.7 in August, Caixin Media Co. and research company IHS Markit said Friday.


India Central Bank Keeps Rate Unchanged as Pandemic Shows Signs of Easing

India's central bank kept its key policy rate unchanged as the economy has shown some signs of a recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reserve Bank of India Gov. Shaktikanta Das said Friday the monetary-policy committee decided to keep its policy repo rate at 4.00% and its reverse repo rate at 3.35%.


Natural-Gas Shortage Sets Off Scramble Ahead of Winter

Myrina, a tanker chartered by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, set sail to Asia from the west coast of France last month carrying liquefied natural gas. When it was about to enter the Strait of Gibraltar, the captain received a call, according to people familiar with the matter.

"We have to go to Rotterdam now," his boss in London told him, according to one of the people. The ship made a U-turn and backtracked up the coast of Spain and France to drop off part of its cargo at the Dutch port. On Thursday, it arrived in Bilbao, Spain, to deliver the rest of its load.


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


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 08, 2021 06:00 ET (10:00 GMT)

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