European Economics Preview: UK Consumer Price Data Due

Discovery Boosts Stake In OWN, Oprah Winfrey Takes Stock In Longtime Partner

Discovery has upped its stake in OWN to 95% with the network’s founder and namesake Oprah Winfrey receiving $35 million worth of Discovery stock in exchange, according to an SEC filing Tuesday.

Discovery and Winfrey launched OWN in 2008 and the David Zaslav-led media company has periodically raised its stake in the joint venture. It stood at 73% before this latest transaction, which was the first where Winfrey opted to take Discovery stock instead of cash, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Winfrey’s new stake through her wholly Harpo Inc. – a total of about 1.34 million shares — is less than 1% of Discovery’s outstanding Class A stock.

Harpo, which retained 5% of OWN, also registered to sell 670,000 of the Discovery shares. It “may offer and sell some, all or none of” them, the SEC filing noted. Funds raised may go to cover taxes.

Discovery is set to mark a major milestone on Jan. 4 with the launch of Discovery+, a new streaming service that combines content, including 1,000 hours of original programs, from its 14 factual brands from OWN to HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, ID and Discovery. The service will have more than 50 OWN shows, including unscripted programming from the network and several series led by Winfrey.

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Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower On Demand Worries

Crude oil prices declined sharply on Tuesday amid rising worries about the outlook for energy demand due to new restrictions on travel following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Despite the rollout of a vaccine, worries about virus infections continue following the detection of a new variant of the coronavirus in the U.K.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $0.95 or about 2% at $47.02 a barrel.

Brent crude futures slid $0.83 or 1.6% to $50.08 a barrel.

The U.S. Congressional nod to a $892 billion coronavirus aid package helped limit oil’s slide.

Oil prices fell amid worries about a likely drop in energy demand due to the rapidly-spreading new coronavirus strain that has prompted several countries to close their borders to Britain.

More than 40 countries have banned U.K. arrivals amid fears over the coronavirus mutation that was first identified in Britain.

German pharmaceutical company BioNTech said it was “highly likely” that its vaccine against the coronavirus works against the new virus variant detected in Britain.

“Scientifically, it is highly likely that the immune response by this vaccine also can deal with the new virus variant,” said Ugur Sahin, the co-founder of the company.

Deutsche Bank Says Trump’s Personal Banker Has Resigned

Deutsche Bank AG said Rosemary Vrablic, the longtime banker of President Donald Trump, has resigned.

Her resignation and that of colleague Dominic Scalzi will take effect at year-end, according to an emailed statement Tuesday from bank spokesman Dan Hunter. The New York Times reported earlier on her departure.

Vrablic, who worked in the private banking division, helped manage Trump’s relationship with the bank as the German lender lent hundreds of millions of dollars of loans to Trump’s company over a number of years. That relationship subjected Deutsche Bank to pressure from lawmakers and prosecutors for information during Trump’s presidency.

Deutsche Bank told the Times in August that it was reviewing a real estate deal between Vrablic and Scalzi and a company part-owned by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.

Vrablic joined Deutsche Bank in 2006 after stints at other companies, including Bank of America Corp. Her other clients have included Herbert Simon, owner of the Indiana Pacers basketball team.

Football: Lionel Messi breaks Pele's record goal haul by scoring 644th for Barca

VALLADOLID, SPAIN (REUTERS) – Lionel Messi became the all-time top scorer for a single soccer club on Tuesday (Dec 22) after scoring his 644th goal for Barcelona during their La Liga match against Real Valladolid, surpassing Pele’s record goal haul for Brazilian side Santos.

The 33-year-old Argentine, who matched Pele’s record of 643 goals with a strike against Valencia on Saturday, scored to make it 3-0 to Barca at Valladolid, having set up the opening goal for Clement Lenglet.

European Economics Preview: UK Consumer Price Data Due

Consumer and producer prices from the UK and flash Purchasing Managers’ survey results from euro area are due on Wednesday, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

At 2.00 am ET, the Office for National Statistics releases UK consumer and producer prices for November. Inflation is seen slowing to 0.6 percent from 0.7 percent in October.

UK output prices are forecast to decline 0.9 percent annually after easing 1.4 percent in the prior month. Input prices are expected to drop 2.5 percent.

At 3.15 am ET, IHS Markit is slated to issue French composite Purchasing Managers’ survey results. The composite index is forecast to climb to 42.9 in December from 40.6 in the previous month.

At 3.30 am ET, Germany’s composite PMI data is due. Economists forecast the composite index to fall to 50.4 in December from 51.7 a month ago.

At 4.00 am ET, Eurozone flash PMI survey results are due. The composite index is seen at 45.8 in December versus 45.3 in the previous month.

In the meantime, Italy’s Istat is scheduled to publish industrial orders and turnover figures for October.

Half an hour later, UK Markit/CIPS flash composite PMI survey data is due. The indicator is seen at 51.3 in November versus 49.0 a month ago.