Banking stocks drove European markets lower on Monday as global investors weighed the consequences of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The US lender imploded last week and had its assets seized after a bank run caused its stock to plummet.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index dropped 2.56% at 13:00 GMT, with all major stocks trading in the red. Bank stocks slumped more than 6%, with Commerzbank, BAWAG Group, and Banco BPM among the biggest losers. Credit Suisse plunged 15% in early trading and UniCredit lost 9%, while Deutsche Bank and Raiffeisen Bank both declined by 7%.
The meltdown came despite the news that Britain’s HSBC, which is one of the world’s biggest banks and boasts $2.9 trillion in assets, has agreed to rescue the UK branch of SVB for a symbolic £1, vowing to protect client deposits as part of the deal. Following the announcement, HSBC saw its shares drop 3.5%.
“We’re seeing a liquidity withdrawal – the classic thing that you’d expect following a credit event like what’s happening at SVB. People get scared, reduce exposure to equities and move into government bonds,” Haig Bathgate, head of investments at Atomos, told Bloomberg.
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