Jefferies Discloses Euro Exposure, Amid MF Global Troubles

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After assuring investors of its limited exposure to European debt, Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF) experienced another volatile day on the market Friday.

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Jefferies sought to clarify its financial position in the wake of MF Global's revelation that it placed a $6.3 billion bet on European government debt. 

Like other midsize banks, Jefferies relies heavily on its own investments, making it a primary concern for investors. Following numerous announcements earlier this week, Jefferies again eased concerns early Friday afternoon by disclosing its level of credit risk.

“These are fragile times in the financial market and we decided the only way to conclusively dispel rumors, misinformation and misplaced concerns is with unprecedented transparency about internal information that is rarely, if ever, publicly disclosed,” Jefferies chairman and chief executive Richard Handler said in a statement. Handler added that the bank will provide updated information on its website Friday.

MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, and its chairman and chief executive, Jon Corzine, resigned on Friday as the company crumbled from its significant exposure to European debt.

Shares of Jefferies fell below $11 per share shortly after the market opened Friday. After the closing bell, its shares were up $0.06, or 0.5%, to $12.07 after a surge of nearly 3% earlier in the afternoon. The stock gained an additional $0.04 to reach $12.11 in after-hours trading.

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