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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Manufacturing data day, US jobs day, and Facebook showdown

By Simone Foxman
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

It’s PMI day! The latest data on the state of manufacturing in 23 economies around the globe—specifically, purchasing managers’ indices (PMI) for manufacturers—hit the wires throughout the day. Check out the release schedule here.

All eyes on oil. American oil companies ExxonMobil, Chevron, and oil engineering firm National Oilwell Varco; Russian oil giant Rosneft; and Canada’s Imperial Oil (which is controlled by Exxon) all report earnings.

Brazilian metals and mining powerhouse Vale gives a read on the Chinese consumer. The success of the world’s largest iron-ore producer and second largest nickel producer has a lot to do with the economic climate of the world’s largest commodities importer, China. We’ll get our latest read on the Chinese economy—and Vale—when the company reports earnings.

Another data deluge in the US. Changes in non-farm payrolls, unemployment, construction spending, and consumer confidence, and auto sales for January 2013.

While you were sleeping

UK banks will shell out. The UK’s financial regulator says that Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland will start compensating customers for losses on interest-rate swaps they were “missold”—i.e., duped into buying under misleading pretenses.

US initial jobless claims rose but consumers are “richer.” The number of people applying for unemployment insurance in the US rose from 350,000 to 368,000, but personal income rose too. We argued this spike was most likely caused by a flurry of tax-avoidance, as rich people cashed in on investments ahead of the fiscal cliff.

Japanese and Swiss markets are leading the pack so far this year. The Japanese Nikkei 225 and the Swiss Market Index led equities index gains for January, rising 7.2% and 8.3%, respectively.

Quartz obsession interlude

Facebook showdown! Two of Quartz’s writers offer opposing views on the social network’s business prospects:

Christopher Mims on how Facebook will never be profitable: “Facebook is a large, inefficient engine for transforming electricity and programmers into a down-market place to sell low-value advertising.” Read more here.

Simone Foxman on why Facebook is a goldmine: ”Facebook’s competitive strategy—to get more users in more places before working out how to make money from them—will give it a virtual monopoly over social media across the globe…Once the company has this monopoly, it can and will capitalize on it.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

How to invest when everyone’s investing. The way to cautiously enter the bull market.

East Asian tinderbox. “A maritime Balkans of the 21st century?

This could be China’s last soft landing. Without deep reforms, the next downturn will be a hard one.

Surprising discoveries

Doctor does daring surgery to rescue a baby born with his face split in halfA feel-good story.

Gold mania is disastrous for India’s economy. How a love for the shiny metal is driving the Indian government deeper and deeper into debt.

You’re it. This group of American pals have been playing “tag” for 23 years.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, gold addiction diagnoses, and decade-long game ideas to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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