Opening Bell: Deutsche Bank's settlement, Italy's bailout, Irish retail's Santa rally

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news...

Germany's Deutsche Bank has agreed a €6.9bn settlement with US authorities following an investigation into its sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 economic crash.

The US Department of Justice initially threatened to fine the institution a record $14bn - this led to a major sell-off of its shares in September.

The probe related to the bank’s trading between 2005 and 2007.

It is one of a number of financial institutions who have been fined for selling toxic mortgage packages which contributed to Wall Street’s collapse.

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The Italian government will bailout Monte dei Paschi - the world’s oldest bank.

The state agreed early this morning to pump €20bn into the struggling bank - after it failed to raise funds from private investors in a last-gasp attempt to avoid a bailout.

The institution was named the weakest major bank in the EU after recent stress tests.

Shares in the bank were briefly suspended yesterday after they plunged by almost 7%.

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Beijing has fired back at US president-elect Donald Trump’s decision to appoint one of China’s harshest critics as the head of his newly-established National Trade Council.

Trump hired Peter Navarro - who’s written books titled Death by China and Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World - yesterday.

Editorials in the country’s state-controlled media has cautioned that the appointment indicates that the US will take a “hard-line attitude toward China”.

China’s Global Times said that “Beijing must discard any illusions and make full preparations for any offensive move by the Trump government” - and warned that China will not be bullied.

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On a cheerier note ... Retail Excellence Ireland says that Irish Christmas spending is on-course to match 2015 levels.

Figures released last week showed a drop-off in spending, but there has been a late rally.

Irish shoppers are increasingly spending more earlier and taking advantage of Black Friday deals - but local stores are expected to profit today and tomorrow as people travel home for Christmas and pick up their last bits and pieces.