HSBC Q3 pre-tax profit falls 18%, misses forecasts

HONG KONG/LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings Plc reported an 18% drop in its third-quarter pre-tax profit, lagging forecasts, as the Sino-U.S. trade war and Brexit uncertainties weighed on business sentiment in its core markets of Asia and Britain.

Pre-tax profit at Europe’s biggest bank by assets was $4.8 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down from $5.9 billion a year earlier, HSBC said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday.

The profit was lower than the $5.3 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by the bank.

HSBC has been looking to step up its cost-cutting efforts amid gloomier business outlook due to an escalation of a trade war between China and the United States, an easing monetary policy cycle, unrest in its key Hong Kong market, and Brexit. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong and Lawrence White in London; Editing by Himani Sarkar)