Five Things to Know Now

 | Aug 26, 2014 | 5:30 AM EDT
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Asian stocks closed down on geopolitics worries. European markets were mixed, with all eyes on a meeting between officials from the EU, Ukraine and Russia taking place in Minsk.

Here are five things that matter for markets now:

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin is set to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. There is little hope that they will reach an agreement to de-escalate the tension, after Russia announced it would send a second humanitarian convoy for rebel separatists in eastern Ukraine. Earlier today, Poroshenko dissolved parliament and set October 26 as the date for the snap elections that had been requested by protesters in Ukraine since last year.
  • China's anti-trust regulator is investigating Microsoft's (MSFT) internet browser and media player. The probe is the latest in a series of similar investigations targeting foreign companies, which has sparked fears of a rise in Chinese protectionism.
  • Clean-ups by European banks under pressure from regulators and ahead of stress tests by the European Central Bank have led to asset sales worth $1.72 trillion, analysis by Bloomberg shows. It's a jump of 65% since the end of last year and it is thought the sales of assets, which contain bad loans and underperforming operations, would free up capital for lending to European businesses over the longer term.
  • Chevron (CVX) is looking for $1.5 billion equity investment in his shale assets in Canada, Reuters reported. Over the summer, the company has contacted private equity companies, among other possible investors.
  • Warren Buffett is helping to finance Burger King's (BKW) acquisition of Canadian burger chain Tim Hortons, according to the Wall Street Journal. Buffett is expected to get preferred shares in exchange of about a quarter of the financing, the report said.

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