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10 things you need to know before European markets open

10 things you need to know before European markets open
Finance2 min read
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is hugged by children during his visit to Samjiyon County in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang November 28, 2016.    Reuters

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

Uber is pushing back against the EU. It defended its business model in Europe's highest court on Tuesday, saying its service had made it easier for people to get around and cut pollution as it fights a case which could leave app-based startups facing tougher regulation.

Germany is pinning its hopes on Fillon. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble praised the economic program of French presidential contender Francois Fillon and said he hoped the conservative candidate's far-right rival Marine Le Pen would never become president.

The UK will talk to other EU leaders about Brexit. Britain cannot begin negotiations with the European Union until it has triggered the formal exit procedure but it can have discussions with the leaders, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said.

Germany takes over the presidency of the G20. It happens on Thursday, a platform Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to use to safeguard multilateral cooperation under threat following Donald Trump's US election victory.

France has a tough line on Russia. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that lifting European Union sanctions on Russia would weaken efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis and hand a victory to Moscow.

The UK is closing a tobacco factory in Russia. Britain's Imperial Brands, the world's fourth-biggest tobacco company, will shut one of its two Russian factories in January, it said on Tuesday, citing increased taxes and the impact of changes to sales regulations.

The US economy grew faster than expected. Gross domestic product increased at a 3.2% annual rate instead of the previously reported 2.9% pace, the Commerce Department said in its second GDP estimate on Tuesday.

Business minister Greg Clark said the British government was "unashamedly pro-business." But that he wanted to strengthen existing corporate governance structures to avoid damaging public trust in the private sector.

Electric car stations are coming to Europe. German carmakers BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Audi and US competitor Ford said they would cooperate on a Europe-wide network of electric charging stations.

The EU reacted to THAT memo. Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said Britain cannot "have its cake and eat it," as the government in London distanced itself from a memo including the aim to have the best of both worlds from Brexit.

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