European markets started Thursday trading mixed ahead the Bank of England's rate decision later in the day.
The central bank is widely expected lower rates by 25 basis points to 0.25% in what would be the first change in rates since it slashed borrowing costs to a record low in March 2009. The pound fell throughout the Asia trading session and was recently 0.24% down against the dollar at $1.3293.
President of the German Bundesbank Jen Weidmann today warned about the impact of lower-for-longer rates on banks. He told Germany's Die Zeit that banks could be hit hard "if interest rates remain low and long" and then skyrocket.
Weidmann said the EU should apply the new burden-sharing rules that impose losses on shareholders and depositors before they are bailed out.
"If the government artificially keeps these banks alive and investors risk decreases, then that is a losing proposition for taxpayers," he said. "It is also bad for the economy because ailing financial institutions can provide less credit or possibly try to save themselves through high-risk transactions. A government rescue for all parts of the financial system incentivises excessive risks."
The euro was down 0.11% against the dollar to $1.1137.
Banks continued to climb today, after plunging early in the week. JP Morgan Asset Management global market strategist Vincent Juvyns told the Financial Times, "We suspect investors may be guilty of throwing the baby out with the bathwater."
He added that the financial service sector in Europe is certainly facing issues, including tighter regulation and lower interest margins, but the recent stress tests show that banks are in a much stronger position.
Juvyns said, "Given this, one could argue current valuations look quite attractive."
In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.11% at 6,627.37.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HKMPY) plunged well over 17% this morning, after the company warned that delays in new releasing new products would erode profits. The company said there are issues facing its generic drug business.
Hikma said, "The revenue impact from the delay in certain new product approvals will be largely offset by higher contract manufacturing revenue. This change in the mix of revenue will have an adverse impact on profitability in 2016, which will also be impacted by higher than expected costs resulting from the acceleration in timing of certain pipeline-related litigation."
Rangold Resources (GOLD - Get Report) lost more than 10% in early trading after it announcing that its second quarter was one of the toughest it has had. Production fell by 4% in the quarter after a mill in Cote d'Ivoire experienced difficulties. Net profit in the quarter fell 8% compared with last year to $58.7 million.
In Frankfurt, the Dax was up 0.65% to 10,236.17 and the Cac 40 gained 0.29% to 4,333.43 in Paris.
Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 mini futures were recently unchanged.