10 things you need to know before European markets open

MinersREUTERS/Stoyan NenovGlobal mining companies are getting hammered by plunging prices.

Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know in financial markets today.

Eurozone industrial production is coming. At 10 a.m. London time (5 a.m. ET) Europe’s statisticians will release the figures for eurozone industrial production in February. Economists are expecting a 0.4% rise month-on-month, but only a 0.7% increase on the same month last year.

Deutsche Bank’s analysts are forecasting a Labour victory in May. Ahead of the May 7 election, in which Labour Party and Prime Minister David Cameron’s incumbent Conservative Party are neck-and-neck in polls, Deutsche Bank said in a research note that the Labour Party is most likely be able to form the next government.

Standard & Poor’s just placed soured the outlook of the world’s biggest mining companies, with commodity prices staying at slump levels. Anglo-Australian giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Brazil’s Vale, Australia’s Fortescue Metals, Anglo-South African firm Anglo American, Chile’s CAP, Luxembourg-based Eurasian Resources and South Africa’s Exxaro Resources were all placed on credit watch negative by S&P.

Greece is preparing debt default options, according to the Financial Times. The FT spoke to people close to the government and said that it is “preparing to take the dramatic step of declaring a debt default unless it can reach a deal with its international creditors by the end of April.”

PM David Cameron is expanding the Conservative “Right to Buy” policy to Housing Associations. David Cameron will announced today that up to 1.3 million Housing Association (social housing) tenants will have the opportunity to buy their home at a reduced price. The policy was first applied to other social housing by Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980s.

Amazon and HarperCollins reportedly reached a multi-year publishing deal. Amazon and publisher HarperCollins have reached a new multi-year publishing deal that covers both print and digital titles, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing HarperCollins. The deal calls for HarperCollins, owned by News Corp, to set the retail prices of its digital books, with incentives for HarperCollins to provide lower prices to consumers.

Toyota is going to bring a $US1 billion (£682 million) plant to Mexico. Toyota will spend $US1 billion to build a car factory in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, with plans to announce the investment on Wednesday, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The 200,000-cars-a-year factory will create about 2,400 direct jobs, one of the people told Reuters.

Morgan Stanley is bullish about US financial stocks for the first time since the crisis. Morgan Stanley’s chief US equity strategist Adam Parker highlighted a major upgrade in the firm’s view of financial stocks. “Our most substantial change and message in today’s work is to upgrade the financial sector from equal weight to overweight,” Parker wrote. “This is our first time being overweight financials in the last seven years.”

Asian markets are down. The Nikkei and Shanghai Composite index are each currently down 0.10%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 1.03%.

Russia just lifted a ban on selling Iran missiles. President Vladimir Putin on Monday lifted a ban on supplying Iran with sophisticated S-300 air defence missile systems after Tehran’s landmark framework deal with the West over its nuclear programme.

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