10 things you need to know before European markets open

Varoufakis TsiprasREUTERS/Alkis KonstantinidisGreek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (L) greets Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras before a vote of confidence at the parliament in Athens February 10, 2015

Here are the 10 most pressing things you need to know in markets today.

The emergency Eurogroup meeting is today. The eurozone’s finance ministers meet with the intention of discussing Greece’s tense situation. Any indication that they will or will not agree to a bridging loan, which would tide the Greek government over for six months, will likely be a big market mover.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras easily won a parliamentary vote backing his stance. pledging never to allow Greece to return to the era of austerity and bailout programs. Tsipras, who controls 149 lawmakers from his leftist Syriza party, won the backing of 162 deputies in the 300-seat parliament for his pledge never to allow Greece to return to the era of austerity and bailout programs.

Oil services firm Halliburton is laying off thousands more employees. Halliburton announced Tuesday that it will lay off between 5,000 and 6,500 employees, according to the Houston Business Journal. These cuts come as tumbling oil and gas prices have caused its output to decline. The company had announced last December that it was laying off 1,000 employees.

Fiat Chrysler’s CEO says he can see the end of European “hell”. According to the Financial Times, the automaker told a New York audience “After six or seven years of hell [in Europe] we are finally beginning to see the first steps of the purgatory. I think 2015 appears to be, from what I can tell, a relatively benign start of a recovery process.

Samsung is spending $US3.6 billion (£2.36 billion) on a new production line. Samsung Display, a subsidiary of South Korean tech giant Samsung, said on Wednesday it will invest 4 trillion won ($US3.6 billion) in a new organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display panel production line in South Korea. The line will make medium and small-sized OLED displays for consumer electronics devices like smartphones.

China and the US discussed an investment pact. President Barack Obama spoke to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, stressing his commitment to reach an investment treaty that could redefine bilateral trade ties. Obama “reiterated his commitment to pursue a high-standard and comprehensive bilateral investment treaty,” officials said describing the call.

One of China’s top central bankers says the country’s economy is more sustainable now. China’s economy is now more sustainable and domestic consumption is steadily rising, Chinese Central Bank Vice Governor Yi Gang told a G20 meeting of finance officials earlier this week.

Apple is spending $US850 million (£557.53 million) on a giant solar farm. The facility is being built with First Solar and will cover 1,300 acres. Cook said that it would be more than enough to power its new campus in Cupertino, which is being built right now. It will cost $US850 million to build, but CEO Tim Cook said it would save the company money on energy costs in the long run.

French networking startup Sigfox raised €100 million ($US113.2 million) from two huge firms. French start-up Sigfox has raised €100 million from seven heavy-weight investors to help it build new networks globally to connect everything from washing machines to smart meters to the Internet, sources said. Investors include Spain’s Telefonica and France’s GDF Suez, the sources said.

Asian stocks are mostly down. The Nikkei finished 0.33% lower, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.83% ahead of the close. The Shanghai composite index is currently up 0.32%.

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