10 things you need to know before European markets open

Softbank pepper robotREUTERS/Yuya ShinoSoftBank Group Corp. Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son reacts as SoftBank’s human-like robots named

Spanish GDP is coming. At 8 a.m. London time (3 a.m. New York) we’ll see how the eurozone’s star performer did in the second quarter of 2015. Analysts are expecting a 1% boost quarter-on-quarter, leaving GDP up 3% year-on-year.

Brazil hiked interest rates. Brazil’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by half a point to 14.25%, seeking to fight inflation during a major slump in the local currency.

China’s Baidu is organising a major share buyback. Baidu Inc, China’s biggest search engine company, said on Thursday it will repurchase $US1 billion (£640.91 million) of its shares, after the company’s stock price was hammered by investors following weak earnings results on Monday.

Samsung earnings dipped. Samsung, the world’s top smartphone maker, reported a 6.9 trillion won ($US5.9 billion, £3.8 billion) profit for the second quarter, matching a preliminary estimate given early this month. It was down 4% on the same quarter last year, driven partly by a supply shortage of its Galaxy S6 model.

Asian markets are up. Japan’s Nikkei leads the pack, up 1.08% right now, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 0.24% and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.78%.

US GDP is coming. At 1:30 p.m. London time (8:30 a.m. New York) US Q2 GDP is out. Economic growth likely accelerated in the second quarter as a pick-up in consumer spending and housing offset the drag from trade and the energy sector, suggesting a steady momentum that could bring the Federal Reserve closer to hiking interest rates this year.

Uber’s car leasing unit is its first move into financial services. Uber Technologies has launched its own auto leasing subsidiary in an effort to sign up more drivers, injecting the fast-growing ride services company directly into the financial services sector for the first time. The move by Uber was announced as a pilot project on Wednesday.

Boehner wants the US to export oil. US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday expressed for the first time his support for repealing the 40-year-old ban on domestic crude oil exports, a move that could breathe new life into a bill in his chamber.

Facebook beat earnings estimates. The social network racked up revenue of $US4.04 billion (£2.59 billion) during the second quarter.

But Facebook’s CFO says revenue growth will keep slowing. Finance Chief Dave Wehner said that the company’s advertising revenue growth, which has been driven by its mobile ads, is expected to decline “modestly” for the remainder of the year. Facebook shares are currently down 3.33%.

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