U.K. index inches higher; StanChart rebounds
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- The main U.K. index inched up on Wednesday, buoyed by banks and miners while Standard Chartered recouped some ground lost following allegations it laundered as much as $250 billion for Iranian institutions.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) rose 4.68 points, or 0.1%, to close at 5,845.92.
News reports said other regulators were angry with the New York State Department of Financial Services for going it alone earlier this week in leveling money-laundering accusations at the bank. Reuters reported that the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve were given no notice of the impending action by the regulator.
"While the loss of Standard Chartered's banking license would be a significant blow, it still remains the worst outcome, and not the most probable outcome of the latest banking scandal," said Michael Hewson, strategist at CMC Markets. "Nevertheless the bank has hit back strongly against the allegations as it seeks to defend itself ahead of next week's meeting with the aforementioned regulator."
International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) fell 2.1% after the airline's Spanish unit, Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España SA, hedged its 6.66% stake in Amadeus IT Holding SA for $591 million. See: IAG's Iberia hedges 6.66% Amadeus stake.
"We continue to generate strong margins despite falling prices, reflecting the low-cost nature of our businesses and our first-rate operational performance," Rio Tinto Chief Executive Tom Albanese said. "We are reaping the benefits of investing early in iron ore, which is producing consistently high returns.
"With our confidence in the long-term outlook, superior assets and high-quality growth pipeline, we remain well-positioned to deliver shareholder value over the long term."
Metal prices were mostly higher.