10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

1. Japan’s Nikkei share average tumbled on Wednesday to its lowest close since late February. The Nikkei ended down 2.1% at 19,041.38, plumbing its lowest levels since Feb. 27.

2. French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux resigned, admitting that he hired his daughters to do parliamentary work during their summer vacations. The Elysee presidential office said that Matthias Fekl had been appointed to replace Le Roux.

3. Prime Minister Theresa May told her top team of ministers that a letter launching the formal divorce proceedings with the European Union will set the tone for Britain’s relationship with the rest of the world. “The prime minister said the letter will be one of the most important documents in our country’s recent history, and will start to deliver the result of the referendum and set the tone for our new relationship with Europe and the world,” a spokesman said.

4. But Brexit won’t be the end. Britain’s liabilities regarding the European Union will not cease with its exit from the bloc and will continue well beyond that point, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

5. Authorities will investigate newspaper allegations that UK-based banks had been used in a global money laundering scheme. Reuters reported on a Moldovan “Laundromat” probe into an alleged Russian-led money laundering scheme, in which $US22.3 billion passed through Moldova using Russian shell companies.

6. Venezuela has stopped publishing money supply data, depriving the public of the best available tool to ascertain soaring inflation in one of the world’s worst-performing economies. The country stopped issuing inflation data more than a year ago, but annual consumer price rises are widely seen to be in triple digits.

7. Intercontinental Exchange has delayed the launch of clearing for London’s benchmark gold price because not all participants in the auction will be ready. The delay could weaken its bid to become the dominant exchange in London’s $US5 trillion-a-year bullion market.

8. Germany should send a new message to the European Union that investment is more important than austerity, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. To back up the message, Berlin should offer to further increase its contribution to the EU budget, Gabriel, a Social Democrat in coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, said.

9. US banks should not cut ties with foreign clients over money-laundering worries unless officials have concrete cause for concern, a leading US regulator is telling staff and lenders. The message has come through phone calls, speeches and an uncommon notice from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the top regulator for national banks, according to Reuters.

10. Morgan Stanley President Colm Kelleher said his firm will definitely move staff out of London within the next two years. “It is the cost of doing business,” Kelleher said when asked about applying for European licenses now.

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