BNP Paribas Leads French Stocks Lower on Report of Possible $10 Billion Criminal Fine

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European and Asian markets were mixed on Friday, with lender BNP Paribas SA leading French stocks lower on a Wall Street Journal 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. French lender Société Génerale SA 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 Société Génerale. In the U.K., a rise in consumer confidence to an 18-month high was tempered by evidence of a slowdown in housing price inflation in the latest report by Hometrack Ltd. And in India, carmaker Tata Motors Corp. was down on a decline in fourth-quarter earnings, as its domestic Indian business continues to struggle.

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