/Europe Markets: European banks skid as ECB asks lenders not to pay dividends

Europe Markets: European banks skid as ECB asks lenders not to pay dividends


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The ECB called on banks to halt dividends and buybacks until October.

European banks dropped on Monday to pace a broader market retreat after the chief regulator for the region recommended no dividend payments be made until the autumn.

The Stoxx Europe 600

SXXP, -2.04%

 , which rose 6.1% last week, fell 2.2%.

ING

INGA, -8.89%

 , KBC Group

KBC, -9.10%

 , UniCredit

UCG, -7.79%

 and ABN Amro

ABN, -9.08%

 each withdrew dividend-paying proposals after the European Central Bank called on banks not to pay them through October. ABN Amro also said it expects to report a loss in the first quarter, as it had announced last week a big loss from its clearing arm.

“Capital conserved by refraining from dividend distributions and share buybacks can also be used to support households, small businesses and corporate borrowers and/or to absorb losses on existing exposures to such borrowers,” the ECB said.

Other companies in Europe including engineering group ABB

ABBN, -2.14%

 , chip-equipment maker ASML Holding

ASML, +1.22%

 and luxury goods giant LVMH Moet Hennessy

MC, +0.38%

  reported the impact of coronavirus on their finances.

President Donald Trump said social distancing measures would continue through the end of April and set June as his target for returning to normal.

There were 723,700 confirmed cases globally, including 143,025 in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins tracker of COVID-19 cases. It’s now been two weeks since New York City, the epicenter of the crisis in the U.S., started to implement shutdown measures.

U.S. stock futures

ES00, -0.72%

  also retreated, crude-oil futures

CL.1, -5.90%

 fell over 4% and the dollar gained ground on the euro

EURUSD, -0.5387%

 and the Japanese yen

USDJPY, +0.07%

 .

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