By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com -- Europe’s stock markets are mostly lower in early trading Wednesday, with the latest in a string of money-laundering exposures still weighing on bank stocks, and a profit warning from one of the continent’s biggest auto suppliers casting more gloom over that sector.
At 04:00 AM ET (0900 GMT), the benchmark Euro Stoxx 600 was inching down 0.12 points, 375.52. The Stoxx Automobiles and Parts index was down 1.1%, while the banks sectoral index was down 0.3%
A new report alleging billions more in illicit transactions out of Russia handled by western banks hit Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (DE:RBIV) and Dutch-based ING (AS:INGA) hard Tuesday, and both are still falling this morning. While Raiffeisen figures most prominently in the report, ING is suffering because it’s less than a year since it reached a wide-ranging and expensive settlement with Dutch prosecutors for compliance shortcomings.
However, the impact on Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and ABN AMRO (AS:ABNd) appears to be fading, given that Deutsche’s role was again limited to that of a correspondent bank. ABN argues its restructuring since its takeover in 2007 means it’s not liable for any of the business in the report.
Elsewhere, German auto supplier Schaeffler (DE:SHA_p) fell over 7% at the opening after it abandoned its 2020 profit targets due to pressure on its business in Greater China and Europe. It’s regained some of those losses in the meantime, but it has dragged down the whole auto sector.
On a brighter note, Dutch football club AFC Ajax (AS:AJAX) Amsterdam is up 9.2% after a stunning victory in the Champions League over holders Real Madrid, a victory that knocked out the team that has won the trophy four of the last five years. It’s a different story for Borussia Dortmund (DE:BVB), which is down another 2.1% after exiting the competition last night. It’s down over 10% since defeat in the first leg of the tie effectively sealed its fate – and its faltering challenge for the domestic championship is likely to put further pressure on the share price.