Banks, coronavirus news weigh on sentiment

European stocks are expected to open lower Monday as allegations surrounding bank dealings and rising coronavirus infections weigh on market sentiment around the world.

London’s FTSE is seen opening 40 points lower at 5,976, Germany’s DAX down 52 points at 13,104,  France’s CAC 40 15 points lower at 4,972 and Italy’s FTSE MIB down 20 points at 19,425, according to IG.

As well as the latest coronavirus developments, investors in Europe will be keeping a close eye on bank shares Monday following allegations this weekend that some have been dealing with suspicious funds.

In Asia, Hong Kong-listed shares of Standard Chartered and HSBC tumbled on Monday following reports that they allegedly moved large sums of suspicious funds. By Monday afternoon, shares of Standard Chartered tumbled 2.69% and HSBC fell 2.91%. Earlier in the trading day, shares of HSBC had fallen to a more than 25-year low, according to FactSet.

The moves came after the banks — among several global lenders — were identified in media reports as having allegedly moved suspicious funds over a period of nearly two decades, according to Reuters. The reports cited confidential documents submitted by banks to the U.S. government. HSBC said in a statement to CNBC saying, “We do not comment on suspicious activity reporting.” 

Standard Chartered, meanwhile, said in a statement: “The reality is that there will always be attempts to launder money and evade sanctions” and that it took its “responsibility to fight financial crime extremely seriously.”

Rising coronavirus cases remain in focus. The World Health Organization warned Friday that the coronavirus is “not going away,” noting that it’s still killing about 50,000 people a week. “That is not where we want to be,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said.

There are no major earnings or data releases in Europe Monday.

— CNBC.com staff contributed to this market report.

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