10 things you need to know before European markets open

Easter egg roll donald melania barron trump white houseChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump (C) waves to guests after delivering remarks from the Truman Balcony with first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron Trump (L) during the 139th Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. The White House said 21,000 people are expected to attend the annual tradition of rolling coloured eggs down the White House lawn that was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878.

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

1. A US judge ordered Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht to pay $US2.6 billion in fines in a massive criminal corruption case. District Judge Raymond Dearie said at a hearing in Brooklyn federal court that about $US93 million will go to the United States, $US2.39 billion to Brazil and $US116 million to Switzerland.

2. Citigroup appointed Carmen Haddad as head of the bank’s Saudi Arabia business. The appointment coincides with the bank seeking a return to the kingdom after an absence of nearly 13 years.

3. Theresa May’s Conservatives lead Labour by a huge 21-points according to a new opinion poll, despite the latter having launched a host of popular policies over the past week. A YouGov survey published on Sunday night said that 44% of Brits intends to vote for the Tories at the next election, up 2% on the company’s last poll. 23% of respondents said they plan to vote Labour.

4. International observers cited flaws in Sunday’s controversial referendum in Turkey while European leaders urged reconciliation in a divided country. The vote, whose outcome was welcomed by Ankara ally Saudi Arabia, has major implications for the long-standing EU bid of Turkey, also a key NATO member.

5. China denied any political motive in the cancellation of flights by its flag carrier to North Korea, as pressure mounts on Beijing to help curb Pyongyang’s weapons programmes. State broadcaster CCTV reported that Air China had suspended its Beijing-Pyongyang route, leading to speculation the move was intended to pressure the North.

6. South Korean prosecutors charged the chairman of retail giant Lotte in connection with the corruption scandal that brought down former president Park Geun-Hye. Shin Dong-Bin is accused of using more than $US6 million to bribe Park and her secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil, the prosecutors said on the same day they charged Park with bribery and abuse of power.

7. A hedge fund that told investors it couldn’t lose money is under SEC investigation, according to a Bloomberg News report. Statim Holdings, a small Atlanta-based hedge fund firm, had previously been investigated by Georgia regulators starting in 2015.

8. Boeing warned employees on Monday that it plans another round of involuntary layoffs that will affect hundreds of engineers, according to a source and a memo seen by Reuters. The layoffs are set to start June 23, and follow a prior involuntary reduction of 245 workers set for May 19.

9. Theresa May has asked officials to develop plans for a scrappage scheme for diesel cars as part of proposals to improve air quality, according to the Financial Times. The government is due to announce by April 24 plans to comply with European Union legislation to improve air quality and meet nitrogen dioxide limits following a ruling by the High Court late last year.

10. The chairman of China’s insurance regulator, Xiang Junbo, has been removed from his position for suspected disciplinary violations. On April 9, China’s graft watchdog announced an investigation into Xiang, the most senior financial regulator to be probed as part of a government fight against graft.

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