Top News For Friday Oct 21, 2021
Friday, October 21, 2021 9:27 AM

France and Germany Broadly Agree on Debt Deal

European markets traded green today on the belief something substantive might come of the much-anticipated Sunday meeting bringing together European leaders to  hammer out rescue plans for Greece and European banks. Earlier today, German chancellor Angela Merkel announced a possible agreement between France and Greece over the main contours of the debt package. Finance ministers from the 17 euro-zone countries arrived in Brussels Friday to settle differences among themselves, ahead of the October 23 European leader’s summit. All major European stock markets opened in the green on Friday, with the Stoxx50 of top European shares up 0.9 percent.


Oil Prices Move Towards $87 a Barrel Ahead of European Summit

Oil prices are slowly inching toward $87 a barrel before the October 23 European summit. Analysts are also mulling the affect of Libyan leader General Moammar Gaddafi’s death on OPEC’s daily crude oil supply. Libya before the civil war produced 1.6 million barrels of oil a day. Post-conflict supplies dropped, thus pushing crude oil prices to $115 a barrel in May. Benchmark crude for December delivery was trading $0.39 at $86.46 on the New York Mercantile Stock Exchange. Brent crude was down $0.26 to trade at $109.50 a barrel at the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

 Greece Passes Anti-Austerity Bill Amid Protest

Greece on a final vote late Thursday passed an Anti-Austerity bill by a narrow margin of 154 to 144 amid violent protests and strikes. The bill aims to cut public sector jobs and wages, slash pensions for high-income earners, curtail collective bargaining rights for workers and enact new taxes. The bill was passed under pressure form Greece’s international creditors, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The protests were marred by violence when hundreds of self-styled anarchist youth clashed with demonstrators from Greece’s communist-led Pame union.

Schlumberger 3Q Profits Fall 25 Percent

Oil serviced company Schlumberger Ltd. today reported third quarter a 25 percent slump in Q3 earnings compared with last year. Earnings fell 25 percent to $1.3 billion, or 96 cents per share, as compared with $1.73 billion, or $1.38 per share, a year ago. Net income contains a $1.27 billion investment gain. Revenue rose 49.4 percent to $10.2 billion. The adjusted earnings fell short of Wall Street's forecast of $1.01 per share. Income form continuing operations excluding special charges and credit was 98 cents per share. Schlumberger lowered its FY 2012 oil demand growth due to turmoil in the global economy.


Antitrust Probe Against Novartis, Johnson & Johnson

The E.U. is investigating a possible agreement between drug companies Novartis and Johnson & Johnson to block entry of a generic version of Fentanyl, a popular pain killer in the Dutch market. The European Commission said the agreement, “may have had the object or effect of hindering the entry on to the market of generic versions of Fentanyl." Novartis spokesperson Eric Althoff confirmed the probe, further adding "we don't comment on ongoing procedures." The commission said the investigation was triggered by its own inquiry into the ability of generics to enter the market.