Europe open: Shares lower on money laundering allegations, rising Covid cases
European shares started the week in negative territory as allegations major banks ignored money laundering and fears over increasing coronavirus cases across the Continent dampened sentiment.
The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 1.46% in morning trade. The report by the Buzzfeed website and other outlets centred on “suspicious activity reports” banks are required to file to the US Treasury.
Banks named in the report saw their share prices punished. Deutsche Bank slumped more than 5%, while Standard Chartered, alleged to have done business with a company laundering money for the Taliban, fell 3.6%, Barclays , HSBC, Danske Bank and Commerzbank were also sold off.
HSBC took an extra git as China’s Global Times newspaper reported the bank could be placed on China’s unreliable entity list as a threat to national security.
Shares in Germany’s United Internet slumped more than 24% after it warned that an increase in the cost of its network access deal with Telefonica Deutschland would hit profits this year.
New coronavirus-led restrictions in Spain and other European countries and news that the UK was considering a second lockdown hit travel and leisure stocks. In contrast, shares in food delivery services all rose, with Hello Fresh, Ocado, Delivery Hero and JustEat Takeaway all registering gains.