BUSINESS LIVE: Stock markets slide on Ukraine invasion; HSBC profits more than double; Hargreaves Lansdown profits ease
Stock markets globally have come under intense pressure as Europe stands on the brink of war in the east of Ukraine, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into ‘breakaway’ regions.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei closed 3 per cent and 1.7 per cent lower respectively, as Russian stocks fell by more than 10 per cent yesterday amid fears of Western sanctions, while US and European markets are also braced for losses when they open later today.
HSBC has brought forward its key profitability target by a year and more than doubled its annual profits as expected bad loans from the Covid-19 pandemic failed to materialise and it looked forward to rising interest rates lifting its income.
The lender reported pre-tax profits of $18.9billion for 2021, up from the previous year’s $8.8 billion but just below the $19.1billion average of analyst forecasts.
Easing market volatility following a year marked by a retail trading frenzy has hit half-year profits at investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown.
The London-listed firm reported a pre-tax profit of £151.2million for the six months ended 31 December, compared with a profit of £188.4million in 2020.
The escalation of conflict in the east of Ukraine has hammered global stock markets