European, Asian Stocks Mixed; BNP Paribas Falls

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European and Asian markets were mixed Friday, with lender BNP Paribas leading French stocks lower on a report that it may be forced to pay a penalty of more than $10 billion to end a U.S. criminal probe into alleged sanctions violations.

In London the FTSE 100 rose 0.02% to 6,872.92, while in Paris the CAC 40 fell 0.32% to 4,516.15. In Frankfurt the DAX rose 0.16% to 9,954.61.

BNP Paribas fell 4.06%, following a report in The Wall Street Journal that it may be forced to pay a penalty exceeding $10 billion in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice criminal probe into alleged sanctions violations.

Prosecutors are looking into allegations that BNP Paribas transferred funds for clients in violation of sanctions in Iran, Sudan and Cuba, and the lender is reportedly seeking to pay less than $8 billion. The yearlong investigation is likely to drag on for another few weeks.

French lender Societe Generale also lost some steam, after Les Echos newspaper reported a fall in fourth-quarter profit at OAO Rosbank, a Moscow-based bank majority-owned by Societe Generale.

Societe Generale shares fell 2.3% in Paris.

In the U.K., a rise in consumer confidence to an 18-month high was tempered by evidence of a slowdown in house price inflation in London and the rest of the country, as reported by Hometrack Ltd.

The report showed that home prices rose by 0.5% in May, following a 0.6% increase in April, as buyers' resolve is tested by strong price increases, widespread talk of a possible housing bubble and recent warnings from the Bank of England on house price inflation, the authors said.

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