10 things you need to know before European markets open

BearsScanpix Denmark/Henning BaggerPolar bear cubs come out accompanied by their mother in Aalborg Zoo in Aalborg, Denmark February 22, 2017.

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

1. Deutsche Bank is set to announce another shakeup in its senior ranks. Dixit Joshi, who previously led the bank’s fixed-income sales force as head of the institutional client group for debt, is expected to move to the role of group treasurer.

2. A former Barclays trader had his jail term for conspiring to rig Libor rates cut by one year to five-and-a-half years. Jay Merchant, a former New York-based derivatives trader, was convicted by a jury last year in the third case brought to trial by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in an investigation into alleged Libor (London interbank offered rate) manipulation.

3. US home resales surged to a 10-year high in January. The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales jumped 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million units last month. That was the highest level since February 2007.

4. EU antitrust regulators are set to clear the $US130 billion merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont. The two U.S. companies offered to sell a portion of portion of DuPont’s crop protection business and related research and development, as well as Dow’s acid copolymers and ionomers business.

5. Italy got a warning from the European Commission. Italy risks disciplinary action if it did not adopt promised measures to cut its deficit Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said.

6. Germany will increase its defence spending in the coming years as promised to NATO allies. The government should also keep its military history in mind, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday. “One has to ask whether it would really calm Germany’s neighbours if we turned into big military power in Europe,” Gabriel told reporters

7. China will ratchet up planned steel production cuts and target illegal factories to reduce pollution. The government committed to cutting 100-150 million tonnes of annual crude steel capacity over five years, though critics say the curbs are yet to have a material effect.

8. The US is due for an interest rate rise. Many Federal Reserve policymakers said it may be appropriate to raise interest rates again “fairly soon,” according to the minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting released.

9. British and Canadian regulators signed a deal to make it easier for financial technology companies to expand in each other’s markets. The agreement between the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Ontario Securities Commission is meant to help fintech startups navigate regulations.

10. British online real estate agent Purplebricks said it intended to raise funds and expand into the US. Purplebricks, backed by fund manager Neil Woodford, plans to raise up to £48.7 million through a share sale.

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