Top Headlines 

Banks May Need to Cull Their Trading Desks Further – The New York Times

Bankers should watch their backs. There are fewer of them trading fixed income, currencies and commodities than there were four years ago. But cost-cutting is failing to keep pace with the declines in the revenue that banks make from this business, and that spells a new wave of job cuts on dealing floors. 

Why a Deal for FXall Alone Seems Unlikely (opinion) – Profit & Loss

There are reports that Blackstone is pondering the sale of FXall once it completes its takeover of a majority stake in Thomson Reuters F&R. What I find interesting is how it is only the sale of FXall – Matching and the other channels are not mentioned. 

In the FICC of it (podcast) – Profit & Loss

Recorded on the sidelines of the Forex Network Chicago conference, Colin Lambert and Galen Stops bring in some guest commentators: Jim Cochrane, head of North America sales at BestX, Peter-john Byrnes, vice president, Networks and Infrastructure at Elysium Technology Group and Al Crane, director of sales at MarketFactory.

Britain Cements Role as Leading Hub for Offshore Yuan Trading – Reuters

Britain has retained its position as the biggest hub for offshore trading of China’s renminbi currency, according to a report published on Wednesday, with transacted volumes reaching a record high in 2018. 

Trading Costs Add 50% to Fund Manager Fees – Financial News (subscription)

The cost of buying and selling shares and other securities adds an extra 50% to the base fees charged by fund managers, according to a new study that claims to be one of the most detailed ever completed on the subject. 

Regulatory News

UK Faces Permanent Debate Over Financial Rules After Brexit: Lawmaker – Reuters

Britain faces a permanent debate over whether to copy or diverge from European Union financial rules after Brexit, a top UK lawmaker said on Wednesday in comments likely to prolong uncertainty for banks.

Regulators Raked in $26 Billion in Global Penalties Since 2008 – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Sanctions violations accounted for 56% of all fines handed out by regulators around the world in the past 10 years, a new study shows. The US is by far the most financially punitive regulator.

US And EU Equivalence Works Well – Markets Media

The equivalence regime between the US and European Union is working well according to a senior regulator in the European Commission, although he could not say if the same regime will work after the UK leaves the trading bloc.

US Judge Sides with CFTC on Virtual Currency Oversight – Reuters

A federal judge said that virtual currencies meet the definition of a commodity and fall within the jurisdiction of the US derivatives regulator, allowing the agency to pursue fraud allegations against My Big Coin Pay.

Mizuho Bank Fined $250,000 for Spoofing Futures Markets – The Trade

Mizuho Bank has settled charges with the CFTC after one of its traders carried out spoofing in US Treasury and Eurodollar futures markets. 

Crypto News 

Crypto Industry Leaders Warn Congress: Figure Out Regulation, or Watch Innovation Leave the US – CNBC

The cryptocurrency industry has a plea for Congress: Hurry up and regulate, please. 

Goldman Sachs-Backed Circle Goes Live with Currency-Linked Stablecoin – MarketWatch

Circle, the Boston-based crypto finance company, has gone live with its stablecoin, which it calls the USD Coin, or USDC. 

Crypto Space Will Stay Subdued Until There’s More Clarity, Says One of Asia’s Biggest VC Funds – The Trade Crypto

Roger Lim of Singapore-based NEO Global Capital highlights Asia’s potential in crypto, but points out the need for patience. 

The World’s Biggest Crypto Company Just Opened the Books for Its IPO – Bloomberg

Bitmain Technologies has released its first public financial statements in a Hong Kong regulatory filing late Wednesday. The disclosure, which also confirmed Bitmain’s intention to pursue an initial public offering, follows months of speculation about the company’s listing plans.

Former UBS Bankers to Set Up Regulated Crypto-Bank – Financial Times (subscription)

A pair of former UBS bankers has raised £80m to set up a regulated “crypto investment bank” in Switzerland. 

Crypto’s Open Secret: Its Multibillion-Dollar Volume Is Suspect – Bloomberg

Four months ago, BitForex was just one of many obscure exchanges offering users the ability to trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Today, the Singapore-based platform is regularly reporting daily transactions that exceed $5 billion — nearly matching turnover on London’s 217-year-old stock exchange. 

Company News 

NEX Markets to Allow Participants to Promote Code Adherence on Platform – Profit & Loss

NEX Markets has taken a small but important step to embedding the FX Global Code further into its business by allowing liquidity providers and liquidity consumers who have registered their Statements of Commitment (SoC) to the FX Global Code to identify themselves. 

SEB Algos Available on Bloomberg and FXall – Profit & Loss

SEB has announced that it is the first Scandinavian bank to offer FX algo trading to its clients through multibank portals Bloomberg and FXall.  

Sprecher Cites “Complex” Regulation Amid Senior Appointments – FOW (subscription)

US exchange group said it will appoint a new general counsel, head of regulation and corporate secretary

Record Hires New Change FX for TCA – FX Week (subscription)

UK-based specialist Record Currency Management has engaged New Change FX, an independent provider of foreign exchange data and transaction cost analysis, in a bid to enhance its commitment to delivering minimum cost and maximum transparency to clients.

CME Group’s Focus on Asia as Overseas Investors Drive Up Volumes During Regional Trading Hours – South China Morning Post

Christopher Fix, managing director for Asia at CME Group, says investors are shifting towards Asia, laying off risks and widening their portfolios.

TP ICAP Unveils Plans for New London HQ – The Trade

TP ICAP will move its Tullett Prebon and ICAP Global Broking Business under one roof at 135 Bishopsgate, Broadgate. 

Market Savvy 

Fed Raises Interest Rates, Signals One More Increase This Year – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The Federal Reserve said it would raise short-term interest rates by another quarter-percentage point, and central bank officials signalled they expected to lift them again later this year and through 2019 to keep a strong economy on an even keel.

Sterling Falls as Brexit Headlines Eyed – Reuters

The British currency tumbled on Thursday on the back of broad dollar gains after a US rate hike, and as investors waited for more Brexit-related headlines in the absence of any fresh economic drivers.

Euro Falls on Report Italian Budget Meeting May Be Delayed – Reuters

The euro fell on Thursday on media reports that an Italian budget meeting was likely to be delayed, spooking traders concerned the ruling parties will push for a bigger deficit target in the euro zone’s third-largest economy.