Source : www.ftalphaville.com Weakness returned to European credit derivatives markets on Thursday morning, after three European banks hit the subprime-related headlines. The iTraxx Crossover index, a key indicator of sentiment in European credit markets, had jumped as high as 345bp in choppy trade by mid-morning. The index had opened around 308bp, some 34bp tighter than Wednesdayâs close. UniCreditâs strategists, in a prescient note this morning, said the Crossoverâs recent rally had: ignored the continuing threat of further negative news especially from the ABS/structured credit front and the risk that the next candidate will appear on the âsubprime stageâ Promptly thereafter, BNP Paribas said it had suspended redemptions for three of its funds investing in asset-backed securities. The French bank also said it could not accurately value the funds assets, or in other words, the scale of their losses, and blamed a âcomplete evaporation of liquidity in certain market segments of the US securitisation marketâ for the move. Meanwhile, WestLB was forced to issue a statement reassuring investors that its fundamentals were sound after rumours circulated that the German state bank might be in trouble. WestLB, which recently suspended redemptions on an asset-backed securities fund of its own, said its subprime exposure was in no way comparable to that of German lender IKB. Not to be left out, investment bank NIBC of the Netherlands said first half net profit would fall from â¬189m last year to â¬3m, on the back of losses of at least â¬137m this year. Instability in the US credit markets had led to the ânon-recurring mark-to-market lossâ in the first half, with further losses expected on the US ABS book, the bank said. Sophie Panchal, a senior investment analyst at Nedgroup, said investors should expect further shocks: While it would have be very hard to pinpoint specific names, there are almost certainly going to be more surprises on the downside. There is a a strong possibility that there are more assets in the system that havenât been repriced yet. But Ms Panchal said there would also be some surprising winners, and that canny investors would benefit from the current volatility: People have been expecting a general correction in the credit markets. Those who had assessed that probability correctly and were proactive about it have already set up their net short positions.