10 things you need to know before European markets open

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

Italian industrial and retail sales are coming. At 9 a.m. UK time (4 a.m. ET), the Italian government will release its retail and industrial sales data for July, both key indicators of how the economy is doing in the third quarter.

Japanese car stocks are getting smashed. Auto-maker stocks on the Nikkei are getting crushed in trade, with Mazda down a whopping 7%. Mitsubishi Motors is down 4.5%. Honda and Suzuki are off more than 3%. Isuzu is down 4%. Toyota and Nissan are both down around 1.4%.

Berlusconi’s political party got hit by a wave of defections. Forza Italia, the center-right party of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, was hit with a number of desertions on Wednesday, raising questions about its political future. Eight Forza Italia parliamentarians, including an ex-minister, announced they were leaving the group just days after two other party heavyweights said they were quitting.

Boeing’s decision to open new operations in China got slammed by Donald Trump. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump bashed Boeing on Wednesday over its plans to open a new facility in China that the company’s largest union says could hurt American workers. “That will end up taking a tremendous number of jobs away from the United States,” he said.

And Xi is heading to the White House. Chinese President Xi Jinping heads to Washington Thursday for summit talks with Barack Obama having made clear that few compromises are in store on hot-button issues like cyber theft and the South China Sea.

VW sent out recall letters in April warning of an emissions glitch. In April of 2015, Volkswagen of America sent letters to California owners of diesel-powered Audis and Volkswagens informing them of an “emissions service action” affecting the vehicles. Owners were told they would need to take their cars to a dealer for new software to ensure tailpipe emissions were “optimised and operating efficiently.

Cisco is forming a Chinese partnership. Cisco Systems said Thursday it would form a joint-venture with Chinese server maker Inspur to sell networking and cloud computing products in China, where the Silicon Valley firm faces political pressure and declining sales.

Officials are moving closer to an agreement on a major Pacific trade deal. Japan, the United States, Mexico and Canada are moving closer to a deal on rules for the automotive industry in a landmark Pacific trade deal, a leading obstacle to agreement on the 12-nation pact, officials briefed on the talks said on Wednesday.

Colombia says it will have a deal with FARC within 6 months. The Colombian government and FARC rebels will sign a definitive peace deal within six months to end a half-century of conflict, President Juan Manuel Santos said, as the two sides announced a major breakthrough.

Asian markets are mixed. The Shanghai Composite is up 0.27%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down 0.87%, and Japan’s Nikkei is down 2.11%.

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