By Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks fell on Wednesday on growing concerns about the health of the world's banks, particularly in Europe, pushing investors into safer assets such as the yen, which stood near a 15-month high versus the dollar. Spreadbetters expected the pessimism to carry over into Europe, forecasting a slightly lower open for Britain's FTSE , Germany's DAX and France's CAC . Japan's Nikkei , which tumbled more than 5 percent Tuesday, suffered another bruising session and slid to a 16-month low.
Nomura Holdings Inc plans a shift in focus in the United States toward client-oriented services from market-based trading, the chief executive said, in its latest attempt to establish a profitable business in a major overseas economy. Japan's biggest investment bank will move resources into areas such as mergers-and-acquisition (M&A) advisory, Koji Nagai said in an interview. The approach would differ from his predecessors, whose emphasis on securities in the U.S. and Europe ended in heavy losses.
Crude oil prices pushed higher on Wednesday after Iran said it was open to cooperation with Saudi Arabia, partly recovering from an 8 percent fall in the previous session on concerns over demand and weak equities. Prices were supported by comments from Iran's oil minister that Tehran is ready to negotiate with Saudi Arabia over the current conditions in global oil markets. The International Energy Agency (IEA), meanwhile, said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is unlikely to cut a deal with other producers to reduce ballooning output.
(Reuters) - HSBC has been sued by the families of U.S. citizens murdered by drug gangs in Mexico, claiming the bank let cartels launder billions of dollars to operate their business. The lawsuit alleges that by participating in the money laundering scheme of the cartels, HSBC knowingly contributed directly to the international drug and trafficking trade, including the "brutal acts" that accompanied it, during the period of 2010 to 2011. The London-based bank, which was already being monitored for its involvement in money laundering schemes, had paid nearly $2 billion in penalties in December 2012 to resolve charges that it failed to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money from flowing through the bank from Mexico, and it promised to fix the problems.
By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Crude oil prices pushed higher on Wednesday after Iran said it was open to cooperation with Saudi Arabia, partly recovering from an 8 percent fall in the previous session led by concerns over demand and weak equities. Prices were supported by comments from Iran's oil minister that Tehran is ready to negotiate with Saudi Arabia over the current conditions in global oil markets. The International Energy Agency (IEA), meanwhile, said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is unlikely to cut a deal with other producers to reduce ballooning output.
In a letter to Google, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that the computer piloting Google's self-driving cars can be considered a driver, for purposes of the car's control placement.
By David Shepardson and Paul Lienert WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc , of its decision in a previously unreported Feb. 4 letter to the company posted on the agency's website this week. Google's self-driving car unit on Nov. 12 submitted a proposed design for a self-driving car that has "no need for a human driver," the letter to Google from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Chief Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh said.
Walt Disney Co's ESPN sports network posted a decline in quarterly profit, overshadowing the blockbuster success of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which lifted the company to record income and topped Wall Street expectations. Investors nervous about the future prospects for Disney and other older media companies sent its shares down 3.5 percent to $89.21 in after-hours trading. The media networks unit that includes ESPN, the Disney Channels and ABC recorded a 5.6 percent decline in operating income to $1.41 billion.