Eurozone growth beats forecast – live updates – .

Eurozone growth beats forecast – live updates – .

gHello. Natwest returned to profit by freeing up cash it was holding to protect against bad debts during the pandemic. The lender has beaten expectations of £ 1.8bn to post an operating profit of £ 2.5bn in its final half year. This compares to a loss of £ 770million the previous year after freeing up £ 707million he was holding to cover overdue customer loans at the worst of the pandemic.
NatWest said it was releasing the money after its economic outlook improved and presented plans for a £ 750million share buyback in the second half of the year. The bank will also pay a 3p dividend for the first half of the year, totaling £ 347million, of which £ 150million will go to its majority shareholder, the government.

Chief Executive Officer Alison Rose said: “These results were driven by strong operational performance across the group, supported by a robust loan portfolio and a strong capital position. “

Elsewhere, the FTSE 100 collapses as markets open, pushed down by China’s continued crackdown on the private sector. Although U.S. markets have hit new highs amid a strong earnings schedule, an increase in delta variant cases and China’s actions against education, tech and real estate companies have scared investors.

Michael Hewson, CMC Markets, said: “The reality is that the recent crackdown by China has let genius out of the bottle, and confidence seems to have shifted. In the end, no one is going to risk putting money back into the markets until regulators in China put some meat on the bone, and for now that’s all they have. “

1) How European leaders destroyed AstraZeneca’s dream of a Covid vaccine: The company is wondering if it wants a future in vaccines, as its jab remains marred by early criticism.

2) Amazon shares plunge more than 7% after disappointing sales: The company’s sales in its post-Bezos first quarter hit $ 113 billion, well below analysts’ expectations.

3) Shell increases its dividend again and attacks the carbon court ruling: The Shell boss has denounced an “unreasonable” Dutch court ruling ordering him to cut carbon emissions faster because it gave shareholders nearly $ 9 billion (£ 6.4 billion).

4) Eurostar chief demands air tax to help save rail link: Jacques Damas says encouraging more Britons to take the train to Northern Europe will strengthen Boris Johnson’s green agenda.

5) Bosses navigate an ethical minefield as demand for “jabs for jobs” increases: Only a handful of employers in the UK have so far committed to the policy of mandatory vaccines, but that could change soon.

What happened during the night

Asian stocks slipped on Friday, with a regional equity gauge set for its biggest monthly decline since the strongest of global pandemic lockdowns last March, while the dollar trailed near one-month lows on expectations continued stimulus from the Fed.

But the stock market losses were moderate compared to sharp declines earlier in the week that were triggered by investor fears about the impact of regulatory measures in China on the education, real estate and financial sectors. technology.

Assurances from Chinese regulators and state media have helped ease investors’ nerves, as have statements from the US Federal Reserve that its bond buying program will remain unchanged for now. The United States posted strong growth in the second quarter thanks to increased vaccinations and government assistance, but the expansion fell short of expectations.

On Friday, the largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan fell 0.84%, taking its losses for the week to over 6.5%. Japan’s Nikkei plunged 1.71 pc, forecast for an 11th consecutive month of decline on the last trading day of the month.

Chinese blue chips fell 0.96%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.27%, as tech stocks lagged again. The Hang Seng Tech Index widened its losses for the week to over 17pc. Kospi from Seoul lost 0.94 pc for the last time.

Coming today

  • Company: IAG, Intertek, Jupiter, NatWest, Pearson, Rightmove, Essentra (Temp worker)
  • Economy: GDP, unemployment rate (ME), Personal expenses (WE)


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