Fast Europe Open: France, Germany PMIs

The UK’s National Crime Agency has opened a criminal investigation into a UK entity with links to the Danske Bank branch at the centre of a €200bn money-laundering scandal.

The investigation, thought to be the first by UK authorities to centre on events at Denmark’s biggest lender, comes as Danske is facing increasing scrutiny around the world over the scandal that has claimed the job of its chief executive.

The NCA’s interest is trained on a UK-registered limited liability partnership, or LLP, according to people with knowledge of the investigation. By geography, UK corporate entities were the second-biggest proportion, behind Russian, of 15,000 non-resident customers at the Estonian branch of Danske, the bank revealed this week.

In the markets, Asia-Pacific stocks looked set to end the week on a strong footing after a record close on Wall Street overnight. The Hong Kong dollar gained as much as 0.3 per cent against its US counterpart on Friday, a relatively minor move that nonetheless took it to the strongest level in half a year, while the dollar index hovered near a 10-week low.

Futures tipped the FTSE 100 to gain 0.3 per cent at the open and the S&P 500 to add 0.1 per cent. 

Corporate releases slated for Friday include Lloyds and Smiths Group. The economic calendar is likewise sparse (all times London): 

  • 08.15: France flash manufacturing, services purchasing managers’ indices
  • 08.30: Germany manufacturing, services PMIs (flash) 
  • 09.00: eurozone manufacturing, services PMIs (flash)

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