Five Things to Know Now

 | Aug 15, 2014 | 5:30 AM EDT  | Comments
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ko

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European stocks trade higher and Asian markets closed in the green, as geopolitical risks are perceived to be subsiding. Here are five things that matter for markets now:

  • A convoy of around 280 trucks of humanitarian aid from Russia to the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine has stopped near the border, as the two countries try to agree border crossing procedures. Dozens of Russian heavy military vehicles have arrived near the area too.
  • Iraq's controversial Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki stepped down after increased pressure from within the country and abroad. His resignation paves the way for a coalition which is hoped will be able to put an end to a Sunni Islamist insurgency that threatens stability.
  • Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant set for what could be the world's largest IPO next month, announced it discovered possible accounting irregularities at its film unit. Alibaba Pictures Group, formerly ChinaVision Media Group, was bought by Alibaba for $800 million earlier this year.
  • Global mining giant BHP Billiton (BHP) said it would demerge its aluminum, bauxite and nickel assets. Investors expect it to set up a separate, $20 billion company for these assets. The news has sent the miner's shares higher.
  • Coca-Cola (KO) will buy 16.7% in Monster Beverage (MNST). It will pay $2.15 billion in cash and the deal includes swapping ownership of some products. 

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