Standard Chartered’s better-than-expected results were dampened by bleak warnings of trade war risks this morning, as fears mount that the firm’s emerging markets could be hit by escalating tensions between China and the US.
The bank reported profits of $1.06bn (£830m) in the three months to the end of September, trumping forecasts of $978m and marking a sharp rise from profits of $814m in the same period one year ago.
Shares in early-morning trading climbed nearly five per cent on the back of the results.
However, in its statement this morning the firm said that “escalating trade tension and other macroeconomic factors are affecting sentiment in emerging markets.”
The remarks come several months after chief executive Bill Winters said that the hit from the Sino-US trade rows would be “minimal”.
Winters said today that the bank was “cautiously optimistic on global economic growth”, although it remained alert to broader geopolitical uncertainties.
Those uncertainties largely come in the form of trade tensions between Beijing and Washington, which have escalated over the summer after the US pledged to slap tariffs on $250bn worth of Chinese goods, with the Chinese retaliating by putting duties on $110 billion of US products.
Standard Chartered said the brewing dispute particularly dented the firm’s wealth management arm, with volatility deterring retail customers from investing and stock prices falling as a result.