EMEA Morning Briefing: Stocks fall -2-

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Hopes are mounting that Europe will avoid a wintry energy crisis that some feared would turn to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advantage as Moscow prepares for a possible invasion of Ukraine.

A record inflow of LNG combined with mild and windy weather has slowed withdrawals from the region’s severely depleted underground gas storage caverns. An increase in gas flows from Russia via Ukraine also contributes to this.

   
 
 

Putin and Xi to flaunt partnership against US at Olympics

When Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping hold a summit alongside the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, a thriving partnership will be on display, already complicating US foreign policy and influence around the world.

Mr Putin is traveling to Beijing at a time of high tensions with the West over Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine and its demands that the US and its allies pull out of Eastern Europe. While demanding diplomacy, China offered support for Moscow and urged the US and Europe to address Russia’s security concerns and stop using military alliances to threaten others.

   
 
 

US and European allies plan to protect Ukraine from Russian hacks

BRUSSELS-US officials are coordinating with European allies to find the most effective ways to help Ukraine fend off potential Russian cyberattacks while trying to protect digital systems in their own countries.

Anne Neuberger, the US Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber ​​and Emerging Technologies, is in Europe this week for a series of meetings with NATO, EU and government officials from several European countries. It would be wise for NATO and allied countries “to be fully prepared for potential destabilizing activities,” she told reporters on Wednesday. “We are prepared for this, from … resilience to responding to incidents to calling on this activity if it occurs.”

   
 
 

The US orders 3,000 troops to support European allies in the Russia-Ukraine crisis

WASHINGTON President Biden is directing the Pentagon to deploy more than 3,000 American troops to bolster defenses of European allies in the first major move by US forces in Russia’s military standoff with Ukraine, US officials said.

Biden is this week sending about 2,000 troops from Fort Bragg, NC, to Poland and Germany, and positioning about 1,000 troops, part of a Germany-based Stryker infantry squadron, to Romania on the east flank of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is closest to Russia, they said officials.

   
 
 

As Omicron shows signs of peaking in Europe, France eases restrictions

France allowed workers to return to offices full-time on Wednesday amid signs the Covid-19 Omicron wave is nearing its peak in Europe.

In the United States, the number of infections has been falling for weeks, which is helping to relieve hospitals. Deaths have risen, however, with the seven-day average of new daily deaths reaching 2,439 on Monday.

   
 
 

Meta investors get a reality check

Just a few months ago, Mark Zuckerberg was bobbing around the Metaverse as a legless avatar. In the real world today, his company is staring at around $200 billion in market value.

Admittedly, that doesn’t look good. But when Meta — formerly Facebook — released its first earnings report as a so-called “Metaverse” company, Mr. Zuckerberg’s modus operandi became much clearer: His social media dynasty is starting to look pretty old.

   
 
 

Facebook shares plummet after earnings decline

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. spooked investors with a bigger-than-expected earnings decline and a bleak outlook in its first earnings report since Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg outlined a pivot to the Metaverse.

Meta shares plummeted after the results were announced, losing more than 20%. If shares were to fall that sharply at the start of trading on Thursday, it would cost more than $175 billion from the tech giant’s market cap.

   
 
 

Spotify faces pushback against Joe Rogan and reports surge in user numbers

Spotify Technology SA has added more users and seen an increase in ad revenue in its recently completed quarter as its podcast strategy held sway despite backlash against its star host.

Neil Young removed his music from Spotify last week to protest what he says is misinformation about vaccines that podcaster Joe Rogan has been spreading on the streaming service. The company has since released its content policy and announced it will be flagging content related to Covid-19 with a notice urging users to browse the service’s new hub for data-driven facts and up-to-date information from the health and scientific communities.

   
 
 

PayPal stock plummets after disappointing earnings forecast

PayPal Holdings Inc. shares suffered its worst sell-off on record after the company cut its 2022 earnings outlook and abandoned an ambitious growth strategy it launched last year.

Shares of the payments company fell more than 24% on Wednesday to close at $132.57, shedding about $50 billion in market value.

   
 
 

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Major events expected for Thursday

01:01/IRL: Jan Ireland Services PMI

07:00/TUR: January CPI

07:00/TUR: January PPI

07:00/ROM: Dec Retail

08:00/CZE: 4Q LFSS Employment & Unemployment

08:00/HUN: Retail Sales in December

08:15 / SPN: Jan Spain Services PMI

08:45 / ITA: Jan Italy Services PMI

08:50 / FRA: Jan France Services PMI

08:55 / GER: Jan Germany Services PMI

09:00/EU: Jan Eurozone Services PMI

09:30 / UK: Jan CIPS / Markit Services PMI

09:30/Britain: January UK Official Reserve

10:00/EU: December PPI

10:00/CYP: Jan Registered as unemployed

10:00/CYP: Jan CPI

11:00/FRA: December OECD CPI

12:00 UK: Bank of England Monetary Policy Report

12:00/UK: Rate decision in UK

12:45 p.m./EU: Interest rate announcement by the ECB

13:30/CZE: Czech rate decision

16:59 BEL: December PPI

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

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

 

(ENDS) Dow Jones Newswires

February 3, 2022 00:46 ET (05:46 GMT)

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