PARIS, Nov 12 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to dip on Wednesday, reversing the previous session’s small gains, with the banking sector in focus after global regulators fined five major banks for failings in currency trading.
The regulators imposed penalties totalling $3.4 billion on UBS, Citigroup, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and JP Morgan .
Switzerland’s UBS swallowed the biggest penalty, paying $661 million to Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FCA) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and ordered by the Swiss regulator FINMA to hand over 134 million Swiss francs.
At 0724 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK’s FTSE 100, for Germany’s DAX and for France’s CAC were down 0.1-0.3 percent.
Shares in JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC traded in Frankfurt were down 1.2-1.4 percent in early trading, while Frankfurt-listed shares of UBS and Citigroup were flat.
On the earnings front, Sainsbury will be in focus after the British grocer said it would rein in spending on new stores and find more cost savings to finance price cuts as it seeks to cope with the toughest market conditions for decades.
British luxury brand Burberry pointed to a “more difficult external environment” as it posted a 6 percent rise in half-year adjusted pre-tax profit that was in line with forecasts.
Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-NIKKEI SOARS TO 7-YR PEAK ON TAX-HIKE DELAY TALK > US STOCKS-DOW, S&P 500 SET RECORD HIGHS IN LIGHT VOLUME > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES UP 0.43 PCT > YEN OFF 7-YEAR LOW AFTER JAPAN OFFICIAL'S COMMENTS COOL ELECTION TALK > PRECIOUS-GOLD HOLDS GAINS; INVESTORS WARY OF RALLIES AS DOLLAR FIRMS > METALS-COPPER BARELY CHANGED, SEEN UP ON ASIAN, EURO ZONE STIMULUS > BRENT DROPS TOWARDS $81 AS OIL GLUT WORRIES COUNTER DISRUPTION RISKS
Global regulators imposed penalties totalling $3.4 billion on five major banks, including UBS, HSBC and Citigroup on Wednesday in a landmark settlement over allegations of price fixing in the foreign exchange market. Royal Bank of Scotland and JP Morgan were also fined for attempting to manipulate foreign exchange benchmarks in a year-long probe that has put the largely unregulated $5 trillion-a-day market on a tighter leash, with dozens of dealers suspended or fired.
British grocer Sainsbury’s said it would rein in spending on new stores and find more cost savings to finance price cuts as it seeks to cope with the toughest market conditions for decades.
British luxury brand Burberry on Wednesday pointed to a “more difficult external environment” as it posted a 6 percent rise in half-year adjusted pre-tax profit that was in line with forecasts.
The group posted falling revenue and profit in the first nine months of the year, although a rise in customers signing up for its broadband and pay-TV deals showed a turnaround from a three-year slump was gathering pace.
Africa-focused oil and gas explorer Tullow Oil said it will concentrate its investment focus on its producing assets and existing discoveries because of weak oil prices and poor offshore drilling results.
Italian tycoon Andrea Bonomi increased his offer for the French resort operator to 23 euros per share. Trading in the shares resumes on Wednesday.
Airlines are sticking with plans to buy the latest generation of fuel-saving passenger jets even though falling jet fuel costs have undercut the case for these planes, Air Lease Corp Chief Executive Officer Steven Udvar-Hazy said in an interview.
Mediaset CFO Marco Giordani said he did not expect a deal for a new investor in the Italian group’s pay TV business, Mediaset Premium, to be reached shortly. He said the group was in talks with many operators and not only with Vivendi and Al Jazeera.
The German postal and logistics company confirmed its targets for the year despite a tough economic backdrop and even as it missed expectations for third quarter profit.
Italy’s biggest bank by assets expects to sign a deal with Spain’s Santander to combine their asset management businesses by early December, UniCredit CEO Federico Ghizzoni said on Tuesday.
Spanish bank BBVA plans to close about half of its 81 offices in Portugal and dismiss a quarter of the loss-making division’s workforce in an effort to recoup profitability, a spokesman for the bank said.
Italy’s Banco Popolare posted a net loss of 121.7 million euros in the first nine months hit by higher loan loss charges and one-off costs related to the early retirement of 330 employees. The lender is not looking at any M&A deals at the moment but it would examine any interesting opportunities that may come about, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
The lender posted a net loss for the January-September period, hit by one-off items related to writedowns on insurance assets it was selling and higher labour costs. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)