10 things you need to know before European markets open

Saudi Yemen war tank artillery firingREUTERS/StringerSaudi army artillery fire shells towards Houthi movement positions at the Saudi border with Yemen April 15, 2015.

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

Ben Bernanke is joining a hedge fund. Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, will become a senior adviser to hedge fund Citadel Investment Group, the New York Times reported.

Germany’s finance minister poured cold water over Greece. Wolfgang Schaeuble said that “nobody expects there will be a solution” to Greece’s ongoing bailout negotiations by next week’s Eurogroup meeting, according to the Financial Times. The Greek government is rapidly running out of money, and needs bailout cash to fund itself through the coming months.

Japanese electronics firm sharp is nearing a $US1.7 billion (£1.15 billion) overhaul. Sharp Corp and its main banks, Mizuho Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, are to meet on Thursday to agree on a nearly $US2 billion rescue and overhaul plan for the loss-making electronics maker, a person involved in the discussions said.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi is facing an internal revolt over his electoral reforms. A senior parliamentary figure in Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s ruling centre-left Democratic Party (PD) resigned on Wednesday in protest over his proposed new electoral law, underlining unrest among government backbenchers.

BP’s oil spill payout just topped $US5 billion (£3.37 billion). The administrator overseeing a BP fund to compensate people and businesses claiming they were harmed by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill said on Wednesday more than $US5 billion has been paid out.

Japan overtook China as the United States’ biggest creditor. Japan overtook China in February as the top foreign holder of US Treasury securities, a position Japan last held in August 2008. The Treasury Department said Wednesday total foreign holdings of Treasury debt dipped 0.9% in February to $US6.16 trillion (£4.15 trillion), down from a record of $US6.22 trillion in January.

Foreign investment in China grew in March. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China rose 2.2 per cent on the year in March, while outbound flows posted a milder rise, as foreign corporate investors remain undeterred by weakening domestic economic performance. That brings inbound FDI up 11.3% to $US34.88 billion (£23.52 billion) for the first quarter.

Asian markets are mixed. The Nikkei is down 0.11% in Japan, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.22%, and the Shanghai Composite is up 2.27%.

Netflix shares surged due to extra subscribers. Netflix shares were up by more than 12% in after hours, largely because of the big increase in new-user additions announced in the company’s Q1 results. At 62.3 million, the company has nearly a million more subscribers than analysts expected.

US jobless claims are coming. It’s a very light day for European data, but US continuing and initial job claims are coming at 1:30 p.m. London time (8:30 a.m. ET). For the last 5 weeks, fewer than 300,000 people have been added to US unemployment benefit rolls each week.

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