North America Morning Briefing: Stock Futures -2-

FORT WORTH, Texas-A jury found a former Boeing Co. pilot not guilty of deceiving air traffic safety authorities about a flight control system on a 737 MAX that was later blamed for two fatal crashes.

The decision at the four-day trial in Fort Worth came after less than two hours of deliberation and acquitted Mark Forkner on all four counts of wire fraud. Mr Forkner was accused of misleading a Federal Aviation Administration training official about an automated cockpit feature designed to reduce the amount of training required for pilots to fly the plane, thereby making the jet more attractive to airlines.

   
 
 

Google allows alternative in-app payments for Spotify users, a new step in the app battle

Spotify Technology SA has reached an agreement with Google to offer users an alternative payment method within its app, in the latest sign of the weakening influence that app stores have on third-party software.

The music streaming service and Alphabet Inc. search giant announced the deal on Wednesday, which will allow Spotify’s app on the Google Play Store to offer a choice between its alternative payment method and Google’s, which accounts for up to 30% of sales.

   
 
 

War in Ukraine forces European bulls to reverse bets

European stock indices have largely recouped losses suffered since President Vladimir Putin dispatched Russian troops to Ukraine. That doesn’t necessarily mean traders are optimistic.

Investors around the world say they are still skeptical about investing in continental Europe, although the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 now hovers almost exactly where it closed the day before the invasion. The euro, meanwhile, has recovered slightly from the nearly two-year low the currency hit earlier this month, closing at around $1.10 on Wednesday.

   
 
 

Fertilizer prices soar as war in Ukraine cuts supply and leaves farmers shocked

In his nine years selling fertilizer to corn and rice farmers in West Africa, Malick Niang says he’s never seen such serious supply shortages or such high prices.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, shipping companies have avoided docking in St. Petersburg, Russia, to pick up goods, Mr Niang said. This, coupled with the impact of Western financial sanctions on Moscow, means that fertilizer exports from Russia – the world’s largest producer – have plummeted. Mr Niang contacted sellers elsewhere, such as in Senegal and Morocco, but was told their order books were full by the end of the year.

   
 
 

US renews tariff exemptions on some Chinese imports

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said Wednesday it will renew tariff exemptions for 352 categories of goods from China after previously granted exemptions expired.

Excluded items include certain types of bicycle parts, electric motors, machinery, chemicals, seafood and duffel bags.

   
 
 

Eurozone economic activity slowed in March amid war in Ukraine, PMI’s signal

According to a survey of purchasing managers, the euro-zone economic recovery slowed in March as high energy prices and uncertainty surrounding the war in Ukraine weighed on growth in both manufacturing and services.

In its first release since war broke out in Ukraine, the S&P Global Flash Composite Output Index fell to 54.5 in March, a two-month low, from 55.5 in February, but beat the consensus forecast of 53.3 in a Wall Street Journal survey .

   
 
 

Vladimir Putin wants Europe to pay for gas in rubles

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wanted his country to only accept rubles in gas deals with European countries and other customers, adding a new financial dimension to tensions over energy supplies as the war in Ukraine rages on.

Mr Putin said Russia will refuse to accept payments for natural gas shipments in currencies “that have compromised itself,” including the dollar and euro, and will switch to ruble payments, the state-run news service TASS reported.

   
 
 

Steel giant becomes first major Russian default in Ukraine war

Steel and mining giant Severstal PAO said Citigroup Inc. froze interest payments to investors in the company’s bonds, causing what is likely the first default by a major Russian issuer since Moscow invaded Ukraine.

   
 
 

Biden meets allies in Brussels to end war in Ukraine and punish Putin

BRUSSELS President Biden met with NATO leaders on Thursday to agree on new measures to help Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion and to address growing concerns that Moscow’s month-long war may contain chemical, biological or chemical weapons could use other unconventional weapons.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization emergency summit is the first of a day-long series of meetings Mr. Biden has scheduled with European allies and other world leaders to discuss their next steps in helping Ukraine defend against the Russian President’s launch last month Attack set Vladimir Putin.

   
 
 

North Korea is testing possible ICBMs

North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile on Thursday, Tokyo and Seoul officials said, in what would be the Kim Jong Un regime’s most significant weapons test in more than four years.

Initial flight data suggested the missile had flown higher and longer than North Korea’s November 2017 ICBM test — a launch that showed Pyongyang was capable of hitting the US mainland for the first time.

   
 
 

NATO estimates high Russian casualties in Ukraine as Biden arrives in Europe

NATO estimates Russia has lost up to a fifth of its combat troops deployed to Ukraine in about a month of fighting, as President Biden and leaders of the alliance met in Brussels for a summit to further support Kiev in repelling the Russian invasion to discuss.

Between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine, and up to 40,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, wounded, captured or missing in total, a senior military official with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said. Russia may also have lost 10% of its equipment, affecting Moscow’s ability to maintain its pace of operations, another NATO official said.

   
 
 

China Eastern plane crash: rescuers find suspected engine, hunt for second black box

HONG KONG search and rescue teams on Thursday discovered what they suspect is an engine from the plane carrying 132 people that had rammed into the mountains of southern China as the hunt for the second black box continued.

With no signs of survivors three days after the crash, it is feared everyone aboard the Boeing 737 operated by China Eastern Airlines – nine crew members and 123 passengers – perished in China’s worst air disaster in nearly three decades.

   
 
 

Ex-Manhattan prosecutor who resigned said he believes Trump committed numerous crimes

A former Manhattan prosecutor investigating Donald Trump said in a resignation letter last month that he believes the former president has committed numerous crimes and that the public interest warrants his prosecution.

“As you know from our recent discussions and presentations, I believe that Donald Trump is guilty of numerous criminal felonies related to the preparation and use of his annual financial statements,” attorney Mark Pomerantz wrote in the letter to the Manhattan District Attorney , Alvin Bragg.

   
 
 

Write TODAY IN CANADA at sarka.halas@wsj.com

Merits:

Charlotte’s Web 4Q

Knight Therapeutics 4Q

loop power 4Q

SilverCrest Metals 4Q

Economic indicators (ET):

0830 Jan labor insurance

Stocks to watch:

Epsilon Energy 2021 EPS 49c vs. EPS 3c; Rev. $42.4M vs. $24.4M

Fortuna Silver Mines 4Q Basic EPS $0.05 vs $0.10; Revenue $198.9M vs $103.5M; FY Basic EPS $0.24 vs $0.12; FY Revenue $599.9M vs $279.0M

GreenFirst 4Q EPS $0.04, Revenue $161.6M; 2021 Revenue CAD190.5M, Loss/Shr CAD0.12; GreenFirst: Lumber Prices in North America Remain Volatile, But Above Historical Trends; Rate hikes can dampen demand for lumber for home construction, repair and remodeling

Loop Energy 2021 Rev. $1.4M CAD

   
 
 

Major events expected for Thursday

00:30/JPN: Mar Japan Flash Manufacturing PMI

05:00/JPN: Feb. Supermarket sales

05:30/JPN: February Tokyo-area department store sales

05:30/JPN: Feb. Nationwide department store sales

07:45/FRA: March Monthly Business Survey (Manufacturing)

08:15 / FRA: March France Flash PMI

08:30 / GER: Mar Germany Flash PMI

09:30/UK: March Flash UK PMI

11:00/UK: March CBI Distributive Trades Survey

12:30/US: 4Q International Transactions

12:30/US: Feb Durable Goods Advance Report

12:30/CAN: Jan labor insurance

12:30/US: Weekly US export sales

12:30/US: 03/19 Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report – Initial Claims

13:00/RUS: Weekly International Reserves

13:45/US: March US Flash Manufacturing PMI

13:45/US: Mar US Flash Services PMI

14:30/USA: 03/18 EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

15:00/US: March Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City survey of 10th District manufacturing

20:30/US: Federal Discount Window Borrowings

20:30/US: Foreign central bank holdings

23:30/JPN: Mar CPI (Tokyo), CPI ex-Food (Tokyo)

23:50/JPN: Producer Price Index for services in February

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

   
 
 

Expected profits for Thursday

AEterna Zentaris Inc (AEZS,AEZS.T) is expected to report for the fourth quarter.

ASA Gold & Precious Metals Ltd (ASA) is expected to report for the fourth quarter.

Adagio Therapeutics Inc (ADGI) is expected to report for the fourth quarter.

The American Shared Hospital (AMS) is expected to report for the fourth quarter.

AstroNova Inc (ALOT) is expected to report for the fourth quarter.

AutoWeb (AUTO) is expected to report $-0.25 for the 4th quarter.

Ballantyne Strong (BTN) is expected to report for the fourth quarter.

Bellerophon Therapeutics Inc (BLPH) is expected to report for the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn ImmunoTherapeutics Inc (BTX) is expected to report for the fourth quarter.

CIRCOR International Inc (CIR) is expected to report $0.06 for the 4th quarter.

Canlan Ice Sports (ICE.T) is expected to report for the fourth quarter.

(FOLLOWING) Dow Jones Newswires

Mar 24, 2022 6:11 am ET (10:11 am GMT)

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