10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

The latest gauge of China’s factory activity fell to a six-year low. The Caixin-Markit Flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), a gauge on activity levels among small to medium-sized Chinese firms, fell to 47.0 in September, below the 47.3 level of August and forecasts for an increase to 47.5. Anything below 50 is considered negative, and the reading is the lowest level seen since March 2009.

And Asian shares are sinking. Japan’s Nikkei is down 1.96%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 3.14% and the Shanghai Composite is 2.10% lower.

Markit flash PMIs for Europe are coming. Between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. UK time (3 a.m. and 4 a.m. ET) we’ll get the first business surveys for services and industry in France, Germany and the eurozone as a whole for the month of September. Analysts are expecting an overall dip in output.

Portugal’s ruling party is ahead in polls for the October 4 election. Portugal’s ruling coalition had a slight lead over the main opposition Socialists for the general election coming in less than two weeks, but no side will win a full parliament majority, according to a poll series released on Tuesday.

Alexis Tsipras unveiled his new cabinet, and left his finance minister in place. Greece’s newly-elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras unveiled his new coalition government on Tuesday, giving the crisis-hit country’s key finance portfolio to Euclid Tsakalotos.

China’s government is accusing a major broker of front-running their market rescue scheme. China’s stock market regulator has found evidence that the nation’s largest brokerage firm, CITIC Securities, engaged in insider trading connected to the government’s rescue of the stock market.

The EU approved a quota system to deal with a surge in refugee numbers. The EU has approved a plan to redistribute 120,000 refugees among member states under a controversial quota system opposed by some countries. Under the scheme initially laid out by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the refugees will be relocated from Italy, Greece and Hungary to other countries.

India just sealed a major deal with Boeing for attack helicopters. Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, the cabinet committee on security (CCS) on Tuesday cleared a £3.1 billion ($US8.54 billion) deal for 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers with American aviation giant Boeing.

Metlife boosted its share buyback scheme to $US1 billion (£651.98 million). Metlife, the largest U.S. life insurer, said it has increased its share repurchase program to $US1 billion (£651.98 million). Metlife had about $US261 million (£170.1 million) pending under its existing buyback program, the company said in a filing on Tuesday.

Citrix is trying to sell itself before it has to start asset sales. Citrix Systems, the US cloud computing company targeted by activist hedge fund Elliott Management, is making a final attempt to sell itself as a whole before it embarks on asset sales, according to people familiar with the matter.

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