European Midday Briefing: Stocks Make Steady

The Copenhagen-based bank made a quarterly net profit of 1.7 billion Danish kroner (£233.6 million), down from SEK2.68 billion last year, but in line with company guidance.

   

Spain, Portugal Push Back on EU Plan to Trim Gas Use

Spain and Portugal pushed back against a European Union plan that would require countries to curb their natural-gas consumption by 15% in an emergency situation, saying the blanket proposal doesn't account for differences between European countries.

The opposition could pose problems for the European Commission, the bloc's executive body, which this week laid out a plan meant to help Europe get through a winter without ample supplies of Russian gas. The proposal called on all EU countries to trim their gas consumption by 15% beginning in August. It suggested those reductions could be made mandatory in an emergency situation.

   

Russian Titanium Maker Is Pulled Off Sanctions List

The European Union blocked a proposal to sanction Russian metals company VSMPO-Avisma PJSC at the last minute, EU diplomats said, after France and other member states objected to the move over fears of a potential retaliatory ban by Russia on titanium exports to the bloc.

The company is a critical supplier of titanium to Airbus SE, the world's biggest commercial jet maker.

Airbus, headquartered in France, employs a large workforce across Europe. It has publicly called for the EU to refrain from banning Russian sales of titanium.

   

Staff at HSBC's China Securities Arm Set Up Communist Unit

Workers at HSBC Holdings PLC's Chinese securities subsidiary have formed a unit that represents the Communist Party, in the latest instance of the party establishing a presence inside a foreign company.

As few as three workers have formed a party branch at HSBC Qianhai Securities, a Shenzhen-based investment bank owned by HSBC, people familiar with the matter said. London-based HSBC owns 90% of the company after increasing its stake this spring.

     

GLOBAL NEWS

Japan Inflation Shows Early Signs of Hitting a Peak

TOKYO-Inflation in Japan is showing tentative signs of peaking as global oil prices stabilize and consumers resist price increases.

Prices overall in Japan rose 2.4% in June from a year earlier, the government said Friday, a slight decline from the 2.5% year-over-year rise recorded in April and May.

On a month-to-month basis, prices were 0.1% higher in June compared with May, a smaller rise than May's 0.2% increase compared with April.

   

California Holds Firm Against Truck Protests at Port of Oakland

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is digging in against protesters who this week shut down most operations at the Port of Oakland, saying truckers "should focus on supporting this transition" to a new employment law, even as shippers warned the impasse was hurting their businesses.

Mr. Newsom's administration indicated Thursday it wouldn't bow to the protesters' demands to pause the implementation of the new state law, known as AB5, that will make it harder for tens of thousands of independent truckers to operate in the state.

   

Turkey, U.N.

Officials Say Deal Reached With Russia, Ukraine on Grain Exports

ISTANBUL-Officials from Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations planned to sign a deal to resume exports of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea on Friday, Turkish and U.N. officials said, in an announcement that raised hopes of freeing food supplies trapped by the Russian invasion.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres landed in Istanbul on Thursday evening, a U.N. official said, adding that the parties involved had come to an agreement but cautioned that last-minute problems could still arise before they sign off on the deal, expected on Friday.

   

Supreme Court Rules Against Biden Administration's Immigration Enforcement Guidelines

WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court denied an emergency request from the Biden administration to reinstate its immigration enforcement guidelines after a lower court in Texas temporarily blocked them.

In a 5-4 decision with Justice Amy Coney Barrett joining Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson in the minority, the court ruled that the administration can't use the guidelines for now-and agreed to hear a case on their legality in December.

   

Sri Lanka Security Forces Clear Main Protest Camp in Colombo

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka-Sri Lankan security forces raided the main antigovernment protest camp in Colombo in the early hours of Friday, taking down tents and removing activists from the grounds of the president's office, within a day of President Ranil Wickremesinghe being sworn in.

The military and police entered the camp at about 1:30 a.m. local time, and forced people to leave the Presidential Secretariat, which thousands of protesters had occupied earlier this month, according to protesters and a soldier who took part in the operation. Protest organizers had earlier announced that the few dozen people who remained planned to vacate the building on Friday afternoon, after Mr.

Wickremesinghe was due to swear in a new prime minister.

   

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 22, 2022 06:03 ET (10:03 GMT)

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