10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

Oil crashed again overnight. US stocks finished higher while West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the US benchmark, fell over 6% and cracked $31 a barrel at one point for the first time since December 2003.

Nestle is targeting products for a healthy gut. The Swss food company is investing in US — based Seres Therapeutics for a third time in a year, this time injecting $120 million to develop and commercialize medicines aimed at restoring a healthy bacteriological balance in the human digestive system.

Egypt is backing away from its petrol subsidy. Egypt’s petroleum minister said the country is “suffering” due to fuel subsidies, saying these funds are better diverted to other areas such as health care and education.

Russia is preparing to arm Serbia. Russia is ready to arm its Balkan ally Serbia with sophisticated weapons, the Russian deputy prime minister said, which could be at odds with Belgrade’s desire to join the European Union.

Belgium’s tax regime is under fire. The EU said tax breaks offered major multinationals in Belgium, including beer giant AB InBev and British American Tobacco, were illegal and ordered the companies to return €700 million ($762 million) in unpaid taxes.

Hong Kong residents are learning about democracy in Taiwan. Hundreds of residents of Hong Kong, the Chinese-ruled territory rocked by street protests demanding free elections in 2014, have flown to Taiwan for Saturday’s elections to see free-wheeling democracy in action.

Hillary Clinton is targeting a tax on the rich. The US Democratic presidential candidate is calling for a 4% “surcharge” income tax on people earning more than $5 million annually, a plan expected to raise $150 billion over a decade, a Clinton aide said.

Russia has already attacked more than 1,000 targets in Syria in 2016. Russian air force jets have since the start of this year flown 311 combat sorties in Syria and attacked 1,097 terrorist targets there, Russian news agencies quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying on Monday.

France is housing migrants in shipping containers. France opened a migrants’ shelter made of converted shipping containers in Calais on its northern Channel coast to try to bring some order to the so-called “jungle” camp in sand dunes near the port. The shelter is designed to accommodate up to 1,500 people in 125 white-painted shipping containers.

Volkswagen may have to buy its cars back from the US. “In some cases it’s very easy to repair the cars, in other cases it’s very expensive and in that case we have to negotiate whether it would be better to bring back some of the cars to Volkswagen,” Matthias Mueller told CNBC at the Detroit auto show.

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