The daily briefing “FirstFT” from the Financial Times.

This article is published in collaboration with The Financial Times.

Mounting turmoil in China’s financial markets ignited a global flight from risky assets on Thursday. Equity markets in the US and Europe sustained heavy losses, oil fell to new multiyear lows, and volatility increased.

The turbulence was sparked partly by concern that a weaker renminbi may prompt devaluations by other emerging markets as they scramble to stay competitive. (FT)

In the news

Saudi Arabia mulls Aramco IPO Saudi Arabia may list shares in its state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, as government revenues reel from oil prices that have tumbled to the lowest levels since 2003. Aramco is one of the world’s biggest energy companies. (FT)

Another billionaire goes missing in China Zhou Chengjian, the founder of China fashion brand Metersbonwe, has gone missing. It is the latest in a string of disappearances of Chinese business people and financiers who are apparently embroiled in the country’s anti-corruption campaign. (FT)

Apple snags AI start-up The US tech group has acquired a start-up that uses artificial intelligence software to analyse emotions from facial expressions, the latest in a string of acquisitions that may point to a push into virtual or “augmented” reality or enhance its automotive research. (FT)

Russia tilts balance in Syria Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are making a new push in southern Syria with the help of Russian air cover in a move that could not only weaken one of the country’s remaining rebel strongholds, but also threaten the balance of power on a combustible border with Israel. (FT)

Tech groups warn against UK spy bill Silicon Valley’s biggest companies have urged the UK government to reconsider swaths of its proposed surveillance law, saying it will have far-reaching implications for how other countries upgrade their spying regimes. (FT)

It’s a big day for

The US labour market Investors will get the first monthly jobs report from the US Labor Department since the Federal Reserve raised interest rates last month. Economists expect the world’s largest economy to have added 200,000 jobs in December. (Bloomberg)

Food for thought

RIP China circuit breaker Well, China circuit breaker, you had a good run. A short life, to be sure. But you did achieve global prominence. You had your 15 minutes of fame. Twice, actually. (FT)

The new geological age The world has likely entered a new geological epoch, according to a group of international scientists, who argue that humanity’s impact on the Earth will be visible in sediments and rocks millions of years into the future. (BBC)

Explaining renminbi reverberations As China’s currency swings wildly and its stock markets tumble in an echo of last summer’s rout, the FT’s Jennifer Hughes looks at what it is about the central bank’s currency management that is unsettling investors across the globe. (FT)

Britons tell better children’s stories The history, heritage and even landscape of Britain informs fantastical myths and legends. American tales, meanwhile, tend to focus on moral messages about a world where life was hard and obedience was emphasised. (The Atlantic)

Why hydrogen bombs are tough to produce North Korea earlier this week said it tested a hydrogen bomb, a claim that was met with scepticism from nuclear experts. Why is it so surprising that a country that has tested atomic bombs would develop a hydrogen bomb? (Quartz)

Video of the day

Global Netflix — a house of cards? FT media correspondent Henry Mance assesses the pros and cons of Netflix, the US on-demand content provider, which has launched itsstreaming services in 130 more countries. (FT)

Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: FirstFT is the Financial Times’ editors curated free daily email of the top global stories from the FT and the best of the rest of the web.

Image: People wait in line to enter the Nassau County Mega Job Fair at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New York. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton.