Midday European briefing: Mixed stock markets; -2-

The UK government gave Jackdaw the regulatory green light in June, reversing its decision to block the project on environmental grounds.


The debt sale debacle at Barclays was bigger than we thought

The error in the LONDON-Barclays PLC debt market was bigger than previously thought.

The British bank said in March that it had sold more securities than allowed under a plan it had registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The flub involved the sale of structured notes or debt instruments linked to an underlying benchmark such as the S&P 500 index and exchange-traded notes.


Russia woos African nations, aims to deflect blame for food crisis

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on a tour of four African countries, dismissed Western accusations that his country was responsible for a deadly hunger crisis on the continent and thanked leaders for not having joined the American and European sanctions against Moscow.

Mr. Lavrov’s trip – with stops in Egypt, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia – coincided with a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to three West African states, underscoring the intensification of the battle for influence on a continent that has so far largely sought to stay on the sidelines of the global confrontation over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During her own visit to Kenya this weekend, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, said that the war and the resulting blockade of Ukrainian grain exports had exacerbated the effects of East Africa’s worst drought in at least four decades, driving up food prices and forcing millions to the brink of starvation.


Ukraine calls for more sanctions in response to Russia’s ‘gas war’

KYIV, the President of Ukraine-Ukraine accused Russia of waging a “gas war” against Europe, following Moscow’s announcement that it would further reduce natural gas deliveries to the region, and urged Ukraine’s allies to retaliate against Russia with additional sanctions.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Europe should avoid concessions to Moscow and focus on reducing trade and energy dependence on Russia.



Investors say goodbye to negative yielding debt as central banks fight inflation

The global pool of negative-yielding debt has fallen to a roughly seven-year low as an era of unusually loose monetary policy draws to a close in most major economies.

The total stock of negative-yielding debt last week stood at $2.4 trillion, according to a Bloomberg Barclays index, an 87% drop from a peak of $18.4 trillion reached in December 2020.


Borrowing among poorly rated companies slows to a trickle

Companies with speculative-grade credit ratings have slowed their pace of borrowing, illustrating how rising interest rates have upended the pandemic-driven boom.

Junk-rated companies have raised around $74 billion so far this year, just a quarter of the nearly $300 billion in the same period last year, according to Refinitiv.


Bipartisan Bill to Regulate Stablecoin Delayed for At Least Several Weeks

WASHINGTON-US House lawmakers are delaying consideration of a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing potential risks posed by so-called stablecoins, according to people familiar with the matter, pushing back a vote on the measure for at least several weeks .

The potential deal would have marked the first major step in applying tougher rules to the cryptocurrency industry, which has grown with virtually no regulation. Biden administration officials and a bipartisan group of lawmakers worry that current laws do not provide comprehensive standards for new assets and have warned of potential risks to financial stability posed by stablecoins, a type of crypto. -currency intended to be pegged to the dollar or another national currency.


China targeted Fed to build informant network and access data, probe finds

China has tried to build a network of informants within the Federal Reserve system, at one point threatening to jail a Fed economist during a trip to Shanghai unless he agrees to provide nonpublic economic data, according to a congressional investigation.

Investigation by Republican staffers of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee found that more than a decade Fed employees have been offered contracts with Chinese talent recruiting programs , which often include cash payments, and were asked to provide information on the US economy, interest rate changes and policies, according to a report of findings released Tuesday.


Justice Department questions top Pence aides on Trump’s bid to void election

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has pressed Mike Pence’s top advisers in recent weeks over efforts by several lawyers for former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election results, according to people familiar with the matter, so that prosecutors step up their 18-month investigation into the Capitol riot. .

Two senior advisers to the former vice president, Mr Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short and legal adviser Greg Jacob, appeared before a grand jury under subpoena in Washington in connection with the investigation, said the people.


Student Loan Officers Need to Delay Sending Billing Statements

WASHINGTON — Federal government student loan service providers have been instructed to suspend sending billing statements by the Aug. 31 deadline to end the pandemic freeze on loan repayments, leaving little time businesses to begin loan recovery processes if payments resume.

The future of the federal student loan portfolio is in limbo as President Biden plans to forgive a limited amount of debt for borrowers with incomes below a certain threshold. The president and his advisers have been debating the issue for more than a year, frustrating activists and progressive Democrats, and putting borrowers, loan officers and other stakeholders on alert about what happens next.


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


(END) Dow Jones Newswire

July 26, 2022 05:30 ET (09:30 GMT)

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