Immense fines followed the global scandal over benchmark manipulation with JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc and Credit Agricole SA fined a total of €485.5 million for rigging the Euribor benchmark after a five-year investigation into the scandal. The banks colluded on euro interest rate derivative pricing elements, breached of EU antitrust rules. In simpler terms, the banks were accused of sharing, via phone and through online chats, sensitive trading information among themselves and strategizing to push benchmark rates up or down to suit their trading positions. For the Euribor scandal, JPMorgan was fined 337.2 million euros, HSBC got a 33.6 million-euro fine, while Credit Agricole has to pay 114.7 million euros.
European markets traded higher today as investors speculate that the European Central Bank will decide to extend its monthly bond purchases to stoke growth in the region, in a meeting due later within the day. On today’s economic calendar we can also expect the release of Halifax’s November house price index. Banking stocks also surged on reports that Italy is preparing to take a 2 billion euros controlling stake in troubled lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the shares of the latter climbed 8 percent on the announcement. Credit Suisse also announced more than 1 billion Swiss francs in extra cost cuts and climbed 8 percent.
Stronger metals prices also pushed up miners, with Glencore, Anglo American and Antofagasta climbing 2-3 percent. In today’s European markets most indices edged higher with Germany’s DAX adding 1.5 percent at 10935.00, U.K.’s FTSE climbing 1.5 percent to last trade at 6879.30, France’s CAC 40 advancing 0.9 percent at 4670.50 while the Euro Stoxx surged 1 percent to last trade at 3133.00 as of 12:20 GMT.
German industrial production rose less than expected in the past month according to data released early this morning. This is considered a sign that Europe’s biggest economy might not be growing as vehemently as once thought. The data indicated that overall, industrial production had a subdued start to the fourth quarter. Specifically, Industrial output edged up by 0.3 percent on the month according to data from the Economy Ministry but manufacturing production was almost flat, edging up only 0.1 percent, while the energy output fell 0.5 percent.
UK industrial production also took a tumble in October as Britain’s industrial sector has suffered its biggest fall in output since 2012. Specifically, UK industrial production shrank by 1.3% in October, compared to expectations of a 0.2% rise. It is worth noting that the disappointing results may be partly due to the temporary shutdown of the Buzzard oil field in the North Sea. Output across manufacturing firms fell by 0.9% in October which marks the nation’s weakest performance since February, and will raise fears that the economy is weakening.