World Economy

Data in focus after UK lawmakers vote to delay Brexit


UBS shares fell around 1.1 percent after the bank said it had set aside 450 million euros ($516 million) to appeal a French court ruling that slapped a 4.5 billion euro fine on the company for alleged money laundering, Reuters reported.

Swedbank, also facing money laundering allegations, saw its shares lose half a percent Friday afternoon, after Swedish media reported an internal probe uncovered $10 billion of “suspicious” transactions relating to Danske Bank customers. Shares in both banks ended higher, despite the news.

Travel retailer Dufry surged towards the top of the European benchmark, gaining 2.3 percent after reporting turnover growth of 3.7 percent in 2018. The company also announced shareholder dividends would rise by 6.7 percent from the previous year.

Shares of Anglo-German travel firm Tui rose 2.4 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded its stock to “overweight” on Thursday.

Tech shares, and particular chipmakers, dominated the best performing European stocks. Globally chip stocks have performed well in recent weeks on upbeat earnings and hopes of a trade war breakthrough.

In other corporate news, BMW posted a net profit loss of almost 17 percent in 2018. The German car manufacturer’s shares were 1 percent higher after it warned of a difficult 2019 and said it would set up cost-cutting measures in anticipation of continued headwinds.

Inflation in the euro zone saw a 1.5 percent year-on-year increase in February, the European Commission confirmed on Friday.



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi index retreats from near four-year high, other Gulf markets weak

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DUBAI, March 24 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market dropped on Sunday after ending the previous week at nearly a four-year high following its inclusion in the FTSE Russell’s emerging-market index, while most Gulf markets also fell.

Saudi’s Tadawul index will have a weighting of 2.9 percent in the FTSE Emerging All Cap Index and this year will join the MSCI emerging market benchmark.

The first tranche of the FTSE Russell index kicked in on March 18.

The Saudi index was down 0.5 percent as banks opened lower with Al Rajhi Bank dropping 0.4 percent and National Commercial Bank down 0.6 percent.

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China refuses to concede on U.S. demands to ease curbs on tech firms: FT

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese staffers adjust U.S. and Chinese flags before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS

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