European markets higher; bank stocks up 1.8% as Credit Suisse soars

European markets higher; bank stocks up 1.8% as Credit Suisse soars

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European bank stocks rally on Credit Suisse lifeline news

European bank stocks rallied during early trade on the news that Credit Suisse had secured a $54 billion lifeline from the Swiss National Bank.

Credit Suisse shares soared 30%, before paring gains to 23% at around 8.25 a.m. London time. UBS followed, up 4.9%, Commerzbank gained 3.9%, Santander was up 3.%, shares of FinecoBank gained 3.4% and Barclays was up 3.3%.

Bank stocks as a whole were up by 1.8%.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Credit Suisse rallies 30% after Swiss National Bank provides liquidity backstop

Shares of Credit Suisse soared 30% just after European market open after the Swiss National Bank said it would provide a liquidity backstop for the bank as regulators tried to dampen fears of a crisis in the banking sector.

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Graph to show Credit Suisse shares.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

European markets open higher

European markets opened higher Thursday as regional investors breathed a sigh of relief after the Swiss National Bank said it would provide a liquidity backstop to beleaguered bank Credit Suisse.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index opened 1% higher. Most sectors and major bourses opened on a positive note, with gains led by a rally in bank stocks, which were up 2.8%. Oil and gas and retail stocks were up 1.6%.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

Saudi National Bank says panic over Credit Suisse is unwarranted

Panic over Credit Suisse is 'unwarranted,' Saudi National Bank chairman says

The chairman of Credit Suisse’s largest shareholder, Saudi National Bank, told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble that the recent market turmoil in the banking sector is “isolated” and stems from “a little bit of panic.”

“If you look at how the entire banking sector has dropped, unfortunately, a lot of people were just looking for excuses … it’s panic, a little bit of panic,” Ammar Al Khudairy said on CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”

He added that Credit Suisse has not asked Saudi National Bank for financial assistance.

“There has been no discussions with Credit Suisse about providing assistance,” he said. “I don’t know where the word ‘assistance’ came from, there has been no discussions whatsoever since October,” he said.

His comments come after Credit Suisse announced it will be borrowing up to 50 billion Swiss francs ($53.68 billion) from the Swiss National Bank to shore up liquidity and investor confidence after its stock plunged Wednesday.

– Jihye Lee

Swiss franc strengthens in volatile trade after Credit Suisse’s announcement

The Swiss franc saw continued volatility following developments around Credit Suisse – and last strengthened 0.17% against the U.S. dollar to pare earlier weakening after the lender announced to borrow nearly $54 billion from Swiss National Bank.

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The Japanese yen also saw further strengthening to trade at 132.86 against the greenback. The Korean won strengthened 0.13% to 1,311.24 against the U.S. dollar.

– Jihye Lee

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Credit Suisse says it will borrow up to about $54 billion from Swiss central bank

Credit Suisse announced it will be borrowing up to 50 billion Swiss francs ($53.69 billion) from the Swiss National Bank under a covered loan facility and a short-term liquidity facility.

The steps will “support Credit Suisse’s core businesses and clients as Credit Suisse takes the necessary steps to create a simpler and more focused bank built around client needs,” the company said in an announcement.

In addition, the bank is making a cash tender offer in relation to ten U.S. dollar denominated senior debt securities for an aggregate consideration of up to $2.5 billion – as well as a separate offer to four Euro denominated senior debt securities for up to an aggregate 500 million euros, the company said.

Read more here.

– Jihye Lee

CNBC Pro: Default risk indicator rises for Credit Suisse and other European banks to crisis levels

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are set to rebound Thursday after a tumultuous trading session on Wednesday that saw stocks fall sharply.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 73 points higher at 7,405, Germany’s DAX 217 points higher at 14,947, France’s CAC up 118 points at 6,993 and Italy’s FTSE MIB up 443 points at 25,517, according to data from IG.

The European Central Bank’s latest monetary policy decision is in focus for European markets Thursday. The central bank is expected to announce a 50 basis point rate hike, as signaled by ECB President Christine Lagarde previously, as inflation remains elevated.

— Holly Ellyatt