LONDON Nov 5 European shares fell on Monday, as
mounting provisions at HSBC hit banks while political
uncertainty in Greece also impacted sentiment, with investors
avoiding taking large, new positions before the U.S. election.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed
down 0.6 percent at 1,108.90 points, while the euro zone's Euro
STOXX 50 index fell 1.1 percent to 2,520.51 points.
HSBC shed 1.3 percent, taking the most points off the
FTSEurofirst 300, after the British bank said a U.S. fine for
breaching anti-money laundering rules could cost it
significantly more than $1.5 billion.
HSBC's problems knocked other bank stocks, with the STOXX
600 European banking index falling 1.1 percent to make
it the worst-performing equity sector.
Traders added that uncertainty over a Greek vote on reforms
for the debt-ridden country was also impacting European stocks.
"HSBC's results were okay, but the provisions in the U.S.
have knocked back the stock. Greece is also a bit of a concern -
it's one of those problems which never goes away," said MB
Capital trading director Marcus Bullus.