10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

Chinese markets tanked again at the open. The Shanghai Composite is down by 5.79% as of 6:58 a.m. UK time (1:58 a.m. ET). Earlier in the session the index dropped as much as 6.41%, taking it to the lowest level since December 25 last year and within four points of falling through the 3000 point level.

Asian markets are down, but by far less. After Monday’s tremendous sell-off, Japan’s Nikkei is down by 1.92% as of 6:58 a.m. UK time (1:58 a.m. ET) and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down just 0.82%.

German GDP rose by 0.4% in Q2, with the second estimate confirming the first. That’s a moderate pace of growth, slightly slower than the 0.5% analysts expected, but faster than the 0.3% rise recorded in Q1.

German business confidence is coming. At 9 a.m. UK time (4 a.m. ET) figures for Germany’s IFO index are released, offering a hint at Germany’s business climate in August. Analysts expect the index to cool very slightly from July.

WTI oil slumped below $US38 per barrel on Monday night. Oil’s weeks-long slump accelerated sharply on Monday with prices tumbling as much as 6% to fresh 6-1/2-year lows as a renewed dive in the Chinese equities market sent global financial markets into a tailspin.

Apple’s Tim Cook says growth in China is still strong. Apple is still seeing “strong growth” in China despite fears about an economic slowdown which have sparked a global market rout, chief executive Tim Cook said Monday. Cook responded to a query from CNBC about the sharp drop in Apple shares amid the market upheaval in China and around the world.

Boeing could make several hundred layoffs. Boeing on Monday told its workers that it expected to cut as many as “several hundred” jobs in its satellite business through the end of 2015 due to a downturn in US military spending and delays in commercial orders.

SK Hynix is making a massive investment in South Korea. SK Hynix, the world’s No. 2 DRAM chip maker, on Tuesday said it plans to spend 31 trillion won ($US25.94 billion, £16.45 billion) to build two new chip plants in South Korea, aiming to update its production technologies to boost competitiveness.

GM cancelled hundreds of job cuts in Brazil after strikes. Workers at a General Motors plant in Brazil ended a two-week strike on Monday after the company agreed to suspend nearly 800 job cuts, buying time in an industry where idle assembly lines have roiled labour tensions.

North and South Korea have managed to defuse their current crisis. North and South Korea stepped back from the brink Tuesday, with an agreement that ended a dangerous military stand-off but left a host of perennial tension-raising irritants unresolved.

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