Top Headlines

Asia FX Wobbly; Singapore Dollar Firmer on Suspected Intervention – Reuters

The Singapore dollar edged higher after suspected central bank intervention, though Asian currencies looked wobbly and remained vulnerable amid expectations the US Federal Reserve will pick up the pace of interest rate rises in 2017.

Dollar Inches Lower Into Christmas Lull – Reuters

The dollar headed into the Christmas break just over half a percent off highs hit after this month’s US Federal Reserve policy meeting, with a handful of second tier data unlikely to disturb markets already firmly in holiday mode.

UK Growth Surprise Cushions Sterling’s Worst Week Since October – Reuters

Sterling headed for its biggest weekly fall in almost three months, although data showing that the UK economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter helped lift it from a seven-week trough against the dollar.

Brexit a Gift That Just Keeps Giving Sterling Weakness – Digital Look

Sterling turned in another grim pre-Christmas session, with Brexit jitters more than offsetting well-received economic data and again among the factors undermining the British currency in the countdown to year’s end.

Renminbi Slide Back on Global Markets Radar – Reuters

China’s weakening yuan is threatening a reprise of the storm that dominated world markets at the start of 2016, with Beijing’s ability to stamp on short-term speculators undermined by a broader consensus among major global investors that the currency will fall.

Speculations of a Yen Carry Trade Revival Grow – Financial Times (subscription)

Expectations of a resurgence could be nothing more than a seasonal sop.

Czech Central Bank Holds Rates and Koruna Limit Steady – Financial Times (subscription)

But the real action is in the currency, which the central bank suppresses in an effort to support inflation – a policy the central bank reaffirmed.

Battered: Turkish Lira Suffers Worst Year Since 2008 – Financial Times (subscription)

Turkey’s battered currency is on course to suffer its worst annual slump since the height of the financial crisis in 2008, according to data from Reuters.

Strategists Play Rupee Via Singapore Dollar as Economies Diverge – Bloomberg

Go long on the Indian rupee while shorting the Singapore dollar.

Top 2017 Picks for Asia’s Emerging Markets – Bloomberg

Bonds, currencies and stocks in Asian emerging markets that are less dependent on external demand, such as India and Indonesia, are the most popular picks for investors and strategists next year.

Emerging Market Currencies and Debt Face a Volatile Future – Seeking Alpha

If currencies are any barometer for the health of an economy, or at least for investor’s perceptions of the health of an economy, this year has seen considerable variations and fluctuations.

Skull and Crossbones Alert: Don’t Mix Politics and Trading – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Many investors whiffed on profiting off Brexit vote and US presidential election.

Regulatory News

Esma Urges Regulatory Convergence Over CCP Supervision – The Trade

European regulators hope to impose new risk management and supervisory standards for CCPs.

MiFIR Transparency Rules Could Capture Illiquid Packages – Risk (subscription)

Criteria to assess which package transactions are liquid are too broad, industry warns.

Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia Promote Local Currency Use for Trade, Business – Reuters

The central banks of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to promote use of their currencies for trade and investment among the three nations, the latest move by emerging economies to reduce exposure to volatile global markets.

Company News 

Burke, Johnson Leave BAML – Profit & Loss

Bob Burke, managing director, FICC futures, and Michael Johnson, director, FICC futures, have both left Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) in New York, a spokesperson confirms.

GFI Group to Acquire Interdealer Broker Micromega Securities – Finance Magnates

The acquisition will help GFI increase its global footprint in South Africa.

Bloomberg Publishes Updated Currency Index Methodologies – Finance Magnates

Bloomberg dollar spot index now provides a better measure of global currencies against the US dollar.

Market Savvy

Brazil Currency Firm, Mexico Peso Weaker in Pre-Holiday Trade – Reuters

Brazil’s currency strengthened, touching its strongest level against the dollar in over a month, while the Mexican peso hit its weakest level in three weeks.  

AUD Briefly Dips Below US72¢ – Financial Review

The Australian dollar briefly dipped below the US72¢ mark in overnight trade, as iron ore fell for a fifth day.

Leu Hits Six-Month Low on Worry Over Loose Romanian Budget – Reuters

Romania’s leu fell to a six-month-low against the euro and multi-week lows against Central European peers amid concerns that the next government in Bucharest will let the budget deficit rise.