10 things you need to know before European markets open

Asian traders Japan Nikkei stockREUTERS/Issei KatoAsian markets rallied after a bad performance on Monday

Good morning! Here are 10 things you need to know before markets open.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says China needs to do more to avoid a bust. The chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, said on Tuesday that China will need to continue to reform its capital markets to avert what he called boom and bust scenarios. “It is our strong belief that China needs more robust capital markets,” CEO Larry Fink said at a Credit Suisse conference in Singapore.

The Bank of England wants to know if Warren Buffett is too big to fail. According to a report from The Financial Times, the Bank of England has asked the US Treasury why Berkshire Hathaway’s reinsurance operations were left off a list of “too big to fail” institutions. Berkshire’s reinsurance operations include Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance and General Re.

The US and Japan are within “grabbing distance” of a massive trade deal. The United States and Japan are within “grabbing distance” of resolving their differences on a much-awaited massive Pacific free-trade pact, assistant secretary of state Danny Russel said Monday.

The ZEW survey of German confidence is coming. Investors’ economic sentiment has been improving in Germany since November, and it’s expected to be bullish again in April, but the figures haven’t yet returned to highs seen in the middle of last year. That’s out at 10 a.m. London time (5 a.m. New York) and analysts are expecting a score of 56.

Rio Tinto’s iron ore output was disappointing. Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto recorded lower-than-expected iron ore output for the first three months of the year blaming poor weather conditions, but continued to boost its production of the commodity despite plunging prices. Ore production was 74.7 million tonnes in January to March, a 12% increase from the same period in 2014, but a six% drop from the previous quarter.

France’s Altice won the right to acquire Portugal Telecom. France’s Altice cable and telecoms firm on Monday said it had won European Commission approval for its 7.4-billion-euro ($US7.9 billion) purchase of Portugal Telecom’s Portuguese assets.

Asian markets are rallying. After a 2% fall on Monday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is back up 2.03%, while the Shanghai Composite Index is back up 0.83%. Japan’s Nikkei also climbed, rising 1.22%.

GE is reportedly in $US74 billion (£49.70 billion) talks to sell its lending unit. General Electric, refocusing on its industrial roots, is in talks to sell its $US74 billion commercial lending unit to Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest US bank, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

IBM revenues are still sliding. International Business Machines reported an about 12% fall in first-quarter revenue as the technology company continues to shed unprofitable businesses to focus on cloud-computing initiatives. Net income fell slightly to $US2.33 billion (£1.56 billion), or $US2.35 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, from $US2.38 billion, or $US2.29 per share a year earlier.

A Senator wants to lift the US crude export ban. Senator Lisa Murkowski (an Alaska Republican) said on Monday she will introduce legislation this year to allow US crude exports. “It’s time to lift America’s ban on crude oil exports,” Murkowski said at IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston, the world’s largest annual gathering of oil executives.

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