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Barclays CEO Staley leaves due to findings of Epstein probe

By Rachel Armstrong

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Barclays CEO Staley leaves due to findings of Epstein probe
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

By Rachel Armstrong

LONDON (Reuters) -Barclays said on Monday that chief executive Jes Staley is to stand down following British regulators’ investigations into his dealings with Jeffrey Epstein.

The bank said it was made aware on Friday evening of the preliminary conclusions from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential (NYSE:) Regulatory Authority’s investigation into Staley’s characterisation to Barclays (LON:) of his relationship with Epstein and the subsequent description of that relationship in Barclays’ response to the regulator.

“In view of those conclusions, and Mr Staley’s intention to contest them, the Board and Mr Staley have agreed that he will step down from his role as Group Chief Executive and as a director of Barclays,” the bank said.

Barclays said last year that Britain’s financial regulators were probing links between Staley and Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting trial on sex trafficking offences. Staley has previously said his relationship with Epstein ended in late 2015, and that he regretted having any relationship with him.

The FCA and PRA said in a statement they could not comment further on the Epstein investigation.

Barclays said C.S. Venkatakrishnan will take over as chief executive.

“The board is disappointed at this outcome. Mr Staley has run the Barclays Group successfully since December 2015 with real commitment and skill,” the bank said in a statement.

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Goldman Sachs stock forecasts: Goldman has downgraded its recommendation for global stocks for the next 3 months to “below market

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Goldman Sachs stock forecasts

A new Goldman Sachs stock forecast has emerged. Analysts at U.S. bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) have downgraded their recommendation for global stocks for the next three months to “below market” and maintained an “above market” recommendation for cash amid recessionary risks, Bloomberg writes.

“Current stock valuations may not fully reflect the risks involved, and there’s a chance they will drop even further before they bottom out. Also have a disappointing Goldman Sachs economic forecast,” the Goldman strategist team, led by Christian Muller-Glissmann, wrote.

BlackRock, the world’s largest company by assets under management, advises investors to “divest from most stocks.”

Experts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and JPMorgan Asset Management previously laid out similar concerns after the world’s top central banks signaled their firm’s resolve to fight inflation, sending global stocks plunging in the past few days.

Goldman analysts last week sharply lowered their forecast for the value of the U.S. S&P 500 stock index for the end of this year, to 3,600 points from the previously expected 4,300 points. The day before, the indicator finished trading at 3655 points.

Earlier, we reported that European stock markets are trading contradictoryly.

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European stock markets are trading contradictory today

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biggest european stock markets

During today’s trading the major European stock markets do not show unified dynamics. The composite index of the largest companies in the region, Stoxx Europe 600, decreased by 0.18% to 389.68 points.

European stock markets trading today

British stock index FTSE 100 was down 0.06%, while German DAX gained 0.19% and French CAC 40 gained 0.16%. Italian FTSE MIB rose by 1%. Spanish IBEX 35 decreased by 0.34%.

The British financial company Virgin Money UK PLC was among the leaders of the fall in the components of the Stoxx Europe 600 index, falling by 6.7%.

Shares of the Swiss manufacturer of heating and ventilation systems rose 8.4% as Berenberg’s experts improved their recommendations on the company’s securities and raised their price target.

Concerns about the state of the global economy are growing amid persistently high inflation and aggressive measures by major central banks to curb it, writes CNBC.

The elections in Italy are also in the spotlight. The Italian Democratic Party acknowledged defeat in early parliamentary elections that took place on Sunday, reported the media.

The market is also pressed by continuing geopolitical tensions with the ongoing “referendums” in several regions of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the level of business confidence in the German economy in September fell to 84.3 points from 88.6 points in August, according to a report by the research organization IFO.

Earlier we reported that the yield of British government bonds rose to a 14-year high.

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Yield of British government bonds during recession rises to 14-year high

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yield on government bonds

Yield of British government bonds during the recession is rising today amid expectations that the Bank of England will have to raise rates sharply as a major fiscal stimulus announced by the government last week will lead to a further rise in inflation.

The interest rate on U.K. ten-year government bonds rose to 4.246% p.a. during trading, which, according to Refinitiv, is the highest since 2008.

Yield on government bonds

The yield on ten-year bonds was 4.087% compared to 3.827% at market close on September 23; the yield on two-year government bonds rose to 4.418% from 3.911%.

Last Friday, Britain’s Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced a massive tax cut that will affect individuals and businesses and increase the budget deficit this fiscal year by more than 70 billion pounds.

The stimulus measures of the new British government will require an increase in government bond issuance, which is one of the factors pushing down their prices. Rising rates could exacerbate difficulties in the economy by reducing disposable income and leading to a rise in the cost of mortgages.

Earlier we reported that investors in the U.S. are buying a record number of risk insurance contracts amid a sell-off.

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