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North American Morning Briefing: Goldman Sachs -2-

Rio Tinto PLC Friday said it expects to ship less iron ore than previously anticipated from its Australian mining operations this year because of delays to projects caused by labor shortages in the country's west.

The world's second-largest miner by market value is also on track to produce less copper and bauxite than it projected this year in big part because of plant-related problems, the company said on Friday.

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Consumer Spending Seems to Be Steady Despite Supply Crunch

U.S. consumers continue to spend, despite supply constraints causing a shortage of vehicles and other goods.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that September retail sales fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in September from the previous month, with car purchases declining as few vehicles were on dealer lots. Excluding autos, sales are estimated to have risen 0.5% as households shrugged off the end of enhanced unemployment benefits and high Covid-19 case levels caused by the Delta variant.

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Trading Furor Complicates White House Decisions on Fed Leadership

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's chances for a second term leading the central bank so far have been dented but not derailed by a reputational crisis over stock-trading disclosures by senior officials.

Mr. Powell, a Republican, has been the front-runner to keep the job when his term expires early next year. But questionable trading activities by two Fed bank presidents, first reported last month by The Wall Street Journal, cast a cloud over his prospects by giving a vocal minority of Democrats who already opposed his nomination new grounds to call for his replacement.

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U.S., European Nations Claim Progress on Path to Removing Digital Taxes

The U.S. and five European countries have reached an agreement on how those countries' digital-service taxes would be withdrawn as a broader international agreement moves forward, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.

The deal isn't likely to yield an immediate withdrawal of those taxes because it is still linked to the broader global tax agreement being completed and implemented over the next few years. But having a path forward could ease tensions between the U.S. and France, Italy, the U.K., Austria and Spain.

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Eurozone Exports Rose on Month in August, Trade Surplus Declined

Eurozone exports rose in August for the second consecutive month, posting a modest increase amid slower global trade.

The European Union's statistics agency said Friday that the currency area's exports rose by 0.3% in August from July, while imports increased 1.6%, both adjusted for seasonal variations. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus was 11.1 billion euros ($12.9 billion) compared with EUR13.5 billion in July.

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EU New Car Sales Fell in September Amid Chip Shortage

Passenger-car registrations in the European Union declined in September amid the current shortage of semiconductors, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said on Friday.

New car registrations--a reflection of sales--declined 23% year-on-year to 718,598 vehicles for the month, said the association, also known as ACEA. The EU's major markets--Spain, France, Italy and Germany--all reported strong decreases.

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Biden to Press Climate Agenda on Wall Street

WASHINGTON-Calling climate change a systemic risk to the financial system, the White House will release a report Friday outlining its strategy for new rules that could affect investment disclosures, insurance policies and home loans.

The report outlines administration goals, including forcing financial firms to more directly address the risks of climate change, creating new protections for savings and pension plans and making climate change more a factor in federal budgeting and procurement.

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Democrats Rely on Big Guns in Virginia as Early Voting Plummets

EARLY VOTE LAGS IN VIRGINIA, giving Democrats heartburn in a crucial contest for governor. Early voting in person and by mail has been available since Sept. 17, but so far turnout has been sluggish. Compared with the high-enthusiasm 2020 presidential election, early voter turnout is down around two-thirds from the same date of last year's cycle, according to data tracked by Republican political strategist John Couvillon. In-person early voting is down 63%, while mail ballots are down by around 73%. The final gap between the previous presidential-to-gubernatorial election series in 2016-17 was 34%. There is no expectation that turnout in an off-year election would match a presidential year, but current turnout is notably sluggish.

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Australia's Most Populous State to Scrap Quarantine for Fully Vaccinated Arrivals

Fully vaccinated international arrivals to Australia's New South Wales state won't be required to quarantine from Nov. 1, as Australian authorities pivot from trying to suppress Covid-19 to living with it.

Dominic Perrottet, the state's premier, said travelers will only need to complete a PCR test and show proof of being fully vaccinated by a shot approved by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration before boarding a flight to NSW.

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Commission on Changing Supreme Court Skeptical About Adding Justices

WASHINGTON-A commission formed by President Biden to study potential changes to the Supreme Court expressed concerns over calls to expand the size of the court, with some members warning it would "undermine, rather than enhance" its legitimacy.

Documents released Thursday outlined a range of options that the 36-member panel prepared to discuss at a public meeting Friday. The commission is expected to issue a final report in mid-November amid calls by progressives in the Democratic Party to expand the number of seats, a measure Republicans oppose.

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Texas Abortion Restrictions Can Continue During Litigation, Appeals Court Rules

A federal appeals court on Thursday said Texas's restrictive abortion law can remain in effect during ongoing litigation with the Justice Department, extending a previous temporary order that kept the law in place.

The order, from the New Orleans-based Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came on a 2-1 vote and postpones the effect of an Oct. 6 ruling from an Austin federal judge. He said Texas had engaged in an unprecedented effort to deprive women of constitutionally protected abortion rights and keep its restrictions shielded from judicial review.

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Write to paul.larkins@dowjones.com TODAY IN CANADA

Earnings:

None scheduled

Economic Indicators (ET):

0830 Aug New motor vehicle sales

0830 Aug Wholesale trade

Stocks to Watch:

Chorus Aviation Announces New three-Yr Committed Operating Credit Facility

Other News:

Canada's Jobs Recovery Has Further to Go: Bank of Canada

Canada's labor market still has further to go in its recovery after employment returned to its prepandemic level last month, Bank of Canada Gov. Tiff Macklem said on Thursday.

Speaking with reporters from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington, D.C., Mr. Macklem said Canada saw strong jobs growth over the summer, including in sectors that he said needed it most, such as high-contact services. However, he said the size of the labor force has grown during the pandemic and the jobs recovery remains uneven.

Returning to the prepandemic employment level "is an important milestone, but it's not the destination," Mr. Macklem said. "It is still the case though that low-wage workers are well below their prepandemic level, whereas other workers have slowly recovered. So there still is some space there."

Mr. Macklem said the central bank continues to anticipate a good economic rebound, although "it may be not quite as fast" as its July forecast, which anticipated third-quarter growth at a 7.3% annualized rate. Growth has been hampered by continued challenges with global supply chains, he said, which have proven to be more complicated and persistent than policy makers had expected.

He also reiterated some of his recent comments on inflation, saying measures of medium- and long-term inflation expectations remain well-anchored, and the causes of inflationary pressures remain narrow and linked to the circumstances of the pandemic.

Still, Mr. Macklem said, persistent supply bottlenecks mean that measures of inflation "are probably going to take a little longer to come back down."

   
 
 

Expected Major Events for Friday

04:30/JPN: Aug Tertiary Industry Index

04:30/JPN: Aug Revised Retail Sales

06:45/FRA: Sep CPI

08:00/ITA: Sep CPI

08:59/JPN: Oct Monthly Economic Report

09:00/ITA: Aug Foreign Trade EU

12:30/US: Sep Import & Export Price Indexes

12:30/US: Oct Empire State Manufacturing Survey

12:30/CAN: Aug New motor vehicle sales

12:30/US: Sep Advance Monthly Sales for Retail & Food Services

12:30/US: U.S. Weekly Export Sales

12:30/CAN: Aug Wholesale trade

14:00/US: Oct University of Michigan Survey of Consumers - preliminary

14:00/US: Aug Manufacturing & Trade: Inventories & Sales

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

   
 
 

Expected Earnings for Friday

ASA Gold & Precious Metals Ltd (ASA) is expected to report for 2Q.

Badger Meter Inc (BMI) is expected to report $0.50 for 3Q.

Charles Schwab (SCHW) is expected to report $0.70 for 3Q.

Chino Commercial Bancorp (CCBC) is expected to report for 3Q.

Definitive Healthcare Corp (DH) is expected to report for 3Q.

Flywire Corp (FLYW) is expected to report for 3Q.

Goldman Sachs Group (GS) is expected to report $10.14 for 3Q.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc (JBHT) is expected to report $1.78 for 3Q.

PFSweb (PFSW) is expected to report $0.01 for 2Q.

PNC Financial Services Group (PNC) is expected to report $3.37 for 3Q.

Postmedia Network Canada (PNC.A.T,PNC.B.T) is expected to report for 4Q.

Prologis Inc (PLD) is expected to report $0.67 for 3Q.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

October 15, 2021 05:52 ET (09:52 GMT)

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