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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Alibaba earnings, China’s devaluation ripples, vaporized cocktails

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Alibaba reports earnings. Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant is aggressively seeking business outside of China, and is having a harder time generating revenue domestically. Profits are expected to decline by more than 50% as the company invests in mobile internet and offline businesses.

Macy’s reports earnings. The biggest US clothing retailer is expected to post slightly lower revenues, due in part to lower handbag sales. Investors will also be looking for any potential moves involving Macy’s massive real estate holdings.

New Delhi considers selling some of Coal India. The government may offload a 5-10% ownership stake in the state-owned firm. The Indian government sold 10 percent in January, for Rs 22,557 crore ($3.5 billion), and still owns 80 percent of the company.

The US delivers data on oil stockpiles. The weekly report on crude inventory could nudge prices back up, after benchmarks tumbled Tuesday in the wake of China’s yuan devaluation.

While you were sleeping

Luxury brands felt the aftershocks of China’s currency devaluation. Shares of Burberry, Ferragamo, and LVMH, among several others, all slid after Beijing’s unexpected move to weaken the yuan, which will make imported luxury goods more expensive. Apple and Yum Brands are also expected to take a serious hit (paywall).

GE sold off another piece of its finance business. The conglomerate is offloading its healthcare finance business to Capital One for about $9 billion, as it pares down its non-manufacturing businesses.

Greece and its lenders made an €85 billion deal. Twenty-three hours of consecutive negotiations finally resulted in an agreement to provide further bailout funds to Greece in return for more austerity measures, including privatizations and measures making it easier to fire workers. The deal must still be approved by the Greek parliament and euro zone members.

Suspected Russian missile parts were found at the site of the MH17 crash. Investigators from a Dutch-led team say the fragments found in eastern Ukraine may belong to a Russian BUK surface-to-air missile system. Although Russia has repeatedly denied claims of any involvement, it is widely believed that Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine brought the Boeing 777 down in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

Swedish police released details on the suspects in a fatal Ikea stabbing spree. Two immigrant asylum seekers from Eritrea are being held in custody, and had no known connection to their victims. Swedish media have speculated that the two suspects could have suffered psychological trauma stemming from their experiences in war-torn Eritrea.

Quartz obsession interlude

Nikhil Sonnad on Apple’s taste in music. “Apple is like your friend who’s really into music but not the one who’s really crazy. The top tracks on Beats 1 tend to either pair relatively obscure artists with musical celebrity like Drake or Kanye West, or they are indie stars with increasing mainstream appeal, like The Weeknd or Jamie XX.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Blind faith in science is just another form of religion. Both can lead to irrational extremism.

Press releases are more valuable than gold. If you’re a hacking syndicate with early access to market-moving information, that is.

Humans are terrible at choosing life partners. Finding “the one” should not be left to chance.

Europe’s human rights ideals are paper-thin. The tenants it holds dear don’t apply to migrants.

The worst thing about life in Russia is dill. The national herb taints every plate of food.

Surprising discoveries

The universe is dying. New research indicates that all the stars in the universe are dimming, slowly but surely.

Black lipstick didn’t start with goths. Egyptian mummies wore it around 4,000 BC.

Londoners can now get drunk without drinking. A pop-up bar has a humidifier that lets patrons breathe in booze.

Google is helping the fight against ISIS. The company’s software is essential to coordination between US forces and Kurdish militias.

Venting just makes you angrier. Angry emails are particularly unhelpful, no matter who receives them.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ancient black lipstick, and vaporized cocktails to on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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