Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Modi’s UK visit, US retail bruised, owning outer space

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What to watch for today

Narendra Modi visits the UK. The Indian prime minister will visit David Cameron’s country estate, then on Friday meet with Queen Elizabeth and speak to 50,000 members of the Indian diaspora at Wembley Stadium. The UK previously distanced itself from Modi over deadly religious riots when he was chief minister of Gujarat.

Sweden strengthens its borders. The number of migrants entering the country will be checked and controlled from midday local time (11am GMT). The measures are set to last for 10 days, but could be extended.

Amundi’s IPO. One of the largest asset managers in Europe is set to start trading in Paris (paywall) in an effort to compete with larger US rivals like BlackRock and Vanguard. Amundi, formed by Société Générale and Crédit Agricole in 2010, is expected to be valued at €7.5 billion ($8.1 billion).

Greece faces a general strike. Thousands of government and private sector workers will walk off the job for 24 hours to protest further tax hikes and pension cuts. Syriza, the governing party, backs the strike, in line with its stance against forced austerity measures.

Earnings, earnings, earnings. Cisco, Petrobras, Viacom, Nordstrom, and Kohl’s report their quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Poor earnings from Macy’s cast a shadow on US retail. The retail giant cut its full-year profit forecast to no more than $4.30 per share, from as much as $4.80 earlier, after reporting a drop in sales and income. That sent its share price down by as much as 14.4%; other retailers suffered a knock-on effect.

Vladimir Putin ordered a doping investigation. The Russian president said that the country’s sports organizations will provide “professional cooperation” with international investigators, and that Russia will also look into the matter itself. “A sporting contest is only interesting when it is honest,” Putin said.

Apple is developing a person-to-person payments system. The iPhone maker is discussing with banks the creation of a service that allows users to send money to one another via their phones, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). That would put Apple in competition with PayPal’s Venmo.

Australia posted a major jobs data surprise. The Australian economy added 58,000 jobs in October, almost quadruple analyst expectations, strengthening the currency and lowering the likelihood of an interest rate cut. But outstanding Aussie jobs data has been wrong before.

The US arrested relatives of the Venezuelan president. Two nephews of Nicolás Maduro’s wife were detained in Haiti and sent to New York, after allegedly conspiring to bring in 800kg (1,800lbs) of cocaine to the US, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). The US has accused the Venezuelan government of protecting the drug trade.

Markets haiku

A big crude dripping

Full shopping carts in Shanghai

Weather blame begins

Quartz obsession interlude

Heather Timmons and Josh Horwitz on how Chinese consumers are leaving Australian shops empty.

“Increasing Chinese consumer demand, and growing the country’s already enormous middle class, is part of the ruling Communist Party’s long-term goals—and niche, high-demand companies like Bellamy’s [baby formula]

may need to choose between making their local customers happy or satisfying China’s massive market.”

Read more here


Matters of debate

Why aren’t we allowed to be ambiguous about remembering wars? It should be reasonable to have mixed feelings.

Only a real Islamic caliphate can stand up to the sham of ISIL. It would bring peace and order to the wider Muslim world, too.

Without corruption, Mexico would be an economic superstar. It costs the country an estimated $53 billion a year—and maybe much more.

Surprising discoveries

Need to carry $1 million in cash? There’s a bag for that. The radio-shielded pouch is designed to glide across marble floors.

Dolphins have names. Along with humans and parrots, they use the unique identifiers to manage social relationships.

Fecal transplants were invented by termites. The bugs pioneered the medical procedure long before it was trendy.

US citizens can legally own bits of outer space. Lawmakers passed a bill to enable extraterrestrial ventures like asteroid mining.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Yes, we are trying out a new poetry-based markets feature. Please tell us whether you like it and send any news, comments, termite droppings, and dolphin names to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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