10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Demi Moore

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

  • Chinese markets lost heavily overnight with the Shanghai index falling 5%. European markets are up in early trading. The euro is a little higher than 1.23 to the dollar.
  • Bangkok chaos continues this morning with more violent clashes between protesters and police officers in the capital city of Thailand. The rebel general, who was shot last week during an interview, has died due to a result of his wounds. See graphic photos of the Thai protests here >
  • The outgoing UK treasury secretary has noted that there is “no money left” in the country’s coffers. The country’s new government plans to announce cuts of £6bn ($8.86 billion) by a week from today.
  • BP has announced the first progress in attempts to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from its leak disaster. The siphon, created by placing a tube in the well’s leak, has pulled away some oil but failed to make significant progress in addressing the problem.
  • Sen. Chris Dodd is offering to negotiate with the banking industry over portions of the new financial reform bill that aim to remove swap desks from investment banks. This is the last week of financial reform debate in the U.S. Senate.
  • Consultancies KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers are “passively considering” whether to move into the ratings agency market, in competition with the current crop of maligned companies. There is some concern over potential conflicts of interest that may arise out of this, however.
  • The UK’s Prudential has moved forward with its $20 billion rights issue today in an effort to raise the funds to acquire the Asian division of AIG, AIA. The resulting company, according to Prudential’s CEO, could eventually be worth $60 billion.
  • Hedge fund The Man Group is acquiring the GLG Group for $1.6 billion. The final organisation will have assets under management of approximately $63 billion.
  • Apollo Global Management is pondering a move for the maker of Hefty trash bags, Pactiv Corp. The move would be for equity worth $3.2 billion and debt worth $1.5 billion, resulting in one of the largest levered buyouts in years.
  • In an effort to prevent the next eurozone crisis, Germany is pushing for states within the area to adopt a balanced budget provision similar to their own. The rules, which impact Germany’s federal states and the national government, have lower thresholds for deficits than current EU legislation requires.
  • Bonus: Ashton Kutcher has called his wife a “genetic freak” for her youthfulness, considering her age.

And check back throughout the day for live market updates at The Money Game >

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