Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Yuan-based trading abroad, Germany terror scare, London spider cuddling

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What to watch for today

Two big tech IPOs move forward. Mobile payments firm Square aims for a $4.2 billion valuation, as it prices its shares ahead of a trading debut on Thursday. Online dating powerhouse Match, owner of, Tinder, and OkCupid, will also price its shares as it seeks a $3.2 billion valuation. Tech bulls beware: Many highly-anticipated IPOs this year disappointed investors.

A China-Europe trading platform launches. Deutsche Boerse AG, Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the China Financial Futures Exchange have joined forces to create the China Europe International Exchange, the first dedicated platform for yuan-denominated securities outside of mainland China. Beijing is trying to enhance the yuan’s reputation in the hopes that it will be included in the IMF’s basket of reserve currencies.

News on the US economy. The Federal Reserve is expected to reaffirm its inclination to raise interest rates before the end of the year, as it releases minutes from its October meeting. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department will announce housing starts for October, which analysts expect to fall after a September spike.

Republican governors meet in Las Vegas. One of the hot topics: A recent push to block Syrian refugees from coming to the United States.

Earnings: Weibo, Keurig, L Brands, Target, Staples, and Lowe’s report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Russia joined France in Syria. Russian planes carried out airstrikes against targets in Syria, including the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa, after Vladimir Putin acknowledged a bomb was responsible for last month’s Metrojet crash. French president Francois Hollande has called on France’s allies to join the fight against Islamic militants after last week’s Paris attacks.

A bomb scare prompted Germany to cancel a big soccer match. Police evacuated the Hannover stadium hosting a friendly between the Dutch and German national teams after finding found a suspicious item amid intelligence tips that suggested an attack was imminent; no explosives or attackers have been found. Europe is on a heightened alert after the Paris attacks, with one attacker still at large.

Walmart pleased investors… The retail giant reported higher quarterly sales (paywall) in its US stores, but warned investors that profits, which fell 11% last quarter, may continue to decline. The update seemed to inspire some confidence—shares were up 3.7% in late trading.

….And so did Home Depot. The building supplies retailer posted better-than-expected profit and revenue figures, due in part to a recent US housing boom. Its shares rose 3.9%.

A $13.4 billion lighter-than-air merger. France’s Air Liquide said it agreed to buy US rival Airgas to become the world’s biggest industrial gas supplier. The French firm supplies industries including steel, pharmaceuticals, and hydrogen-recharging stations; its US counterpart is known as an industrial supplier of oxygen, nitrogen, and argon.

Quartz markets haiku

Red herrings still swim

The next minutes are freighted

Building to better?

Quartz obsession interlude

Bobby Ghosh on why the world cares more about attacks in Paris than Beirut. “Multinational corporations like Facebook may feel obliged to affirm—and indeed, may be required to demonstrate—symmetrical sympathy with people all over the world, but that is an impossible standard for human beings. We do not ‘care for all people equally.’ We can’t.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Fingerprints make terrible passwords. They’re easily lifted, and you can’t change them.

Universities are fleecing their students to pay for sports. They reap an annual $10.3 billion in mandatory student fees and other subsidies.

You won’t live to see the last “Star Wars” movie. If Disney has its way, it will become a forever franchise.

Surprising discoveries

Researchers are relocating forests northward. Otherwise the trees may not survive climate change.

The London Zoo has a spider-cuddling program. Hypnosis and counseling are also used to overcome arachnophobia.

Security at the G-20 failed to account for cats. Several stray felines invaded the stage where world leaders were set to appear.

The iconic Coca-Cola bottle design came out of a $500 competition. The winners were inspired by the shape of a cocoa pod.

A 1960s spaceship has landed. The refurbed, prefabricated Futuro house can be rented, but only for “futuristic” activities.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, G20 cats, and space-home furnishing ideas to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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