10 things you need to know before European markets open


South Korea jets

Reuters/Edgar Su

South Korea's Black Eagles perform a manoeuvre during an aerial display on the opening day of the Singapore Airshow at Changi Exhibition Center February 16, 2016.

Good morning! Here's what you need to know.


China is flexing its muscles. The country has deployed anti-aircraft missiles to the South China Sea, according to satellite images.

Ukraine is weathering a political crisis. Urkaine's embattled Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk survived a no confidence vote in his government Tuesday, staged in parliament only hours after the president asked him to stand down.

Nicolas Sarkozy is being investigated. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under investigation in a scandal over irregularities in his 2012 re-election campaign finances, the Paris Prosecutor said, dealing a serious blow to his hopes of running again in 2017.

A US company is being probed in a Chinese corruption case. Two units of Massachusetts-based software company PTC Inc will pay a total of $28 million to resolve probes into whether they gave more than $1 million in recreational travel to officials from China.


Hedge funds are backing US banks. Top US hedge fund management firms, including Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC, took new positions in Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter, ahead of the bank's cost-cutting measures and bond-management reshuffling.

Volkswagen could face more legal issues. A Dutch foundation trying to recover damages for Volkswagen investors said it had already won the support of dozens of shareholders, including several institutions, since it was launched this week.

Uber is losing a billion dollars a year in China. "We're profitable in the USA, but we're losing over $1 billion a year in China. We have a fierce competitor that's unprofitable in every city they exist in, but they're buying up market share. I wish the world wasn't that way," CEO Travis Kalanick said.

There's another call to break up the banks. The US Federal Reserve's newest policymaker on Tuesday called on lawmakers to consider "bold, transformational" rules including the breaking up of the nation's largest banks to ensure taxpayers are no longer on the hook should they fail.

The EU doesn't have the funds to deal with its nuclear plants. Europe lacks more than €118 billion ($132 billion) needed to dismantle its nuclear plants and manage the waste storage management, a working paper by the European Commission seen by Reuters shows.


The US Federal Reserve won't be distracted from raising rates. Growing concerns about weak global growth and inflation are unlikely to deter the U.S. Federal Reserve from tightening policy, according to a Reuters poll that suggested two interest rate hikes are likely this year.

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