Pessimism continued to stalk the Dow Jones stateside, down 82 points to 17,766.5, with airlines taking some heat as investors fretted about profits, and longer term, the implications of a Fed rate hike.
The main news this morning is from HSBC. The banking titan is to slash 8,000 UK jobs - the bank employs around 48,000 in the UK - in an effort to cut costs. It's thought up to 17,000 jobs could go worldwide, meaning up to 10% of the banking group's workforce could go.
HSBC is outlining new restructuring plans later today in an effort to make operations less complex. The jobs losses are likely to centre on retail and investment banking. Meanwhile speculation continues that the bank could shift its headquarters from London to Hong Kong.
Next,Deutsche Bankbossesare on their way out: Deustche is off-loading execs Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen. Ex financial chief at UBS, Brit John Cryan, replaces both Jain and Fitschen. Deutsche Bank has been struggling to make major changes in its structure for some time.
A director at Hermes Equity Ownership Services (a major Deutsche Bank shareholder), Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt, says the move is positive. Other investors agreed, with the share price of the bank jumping sharply yesterday.
"It had become increasingly apparent," says Hirt, "in recent months that refreshment at the top of the management board was necessary in order to regain trust of investors and other stakeholders."
Finally, plastics engineering company RPC Group says revenues for the full year climbed 17% to £1,222m with operating profit surging 30% to £131.6m. Adjusted earnings per share were up 12% to 41p.
There's a final dividend of 11.0p recommended giving a total year dividend of 15.4p representing a 12% increase over last year, in line with the company's progressive dividend policy.
"Despite the currency translation headwinds and the adverse impact from the time lag in passing through higher polymer prices," says RPC, "the start to the new financial year has been satisfactory and in line with management's expectations."
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