Top Headlines

Bitcoin Tumbles as South Korea Plans Trading Ban – Financial Times (subscription)

South Korea is planning a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading as a clampdown on virtual currencies gathers pace in one of world’s most exuberant bitcoin markets.

Dollar Regains Some Poise After China Dismisses US Bonds Report – Reuters

The dollar recouped some of its recent losses after China’s regulator dismissed a report that the country could halt its buying of US treasuries, boosting the greenback following its biggest one-day fall in a month.

Charts Point to More Pain as Sterling Slips – Reuters

Sterling extended the previous two days’ losses as a struggling retail sector and a widening trade deficit raised concerns among some investors that the currency’s recent gains could be overdone.

Sharp Yen Gains Signal Growing G10 Tightening Hopes – Financial Times (subscription)

A sharp move for the yen is a sign investors are growing confident that G10 central banks will be tightening monetary policy, seizing on supporting evidence from data and statements from policymakers to drive currencies higher.

May to Meet UK Financiers to Discuss Post-Brexit Trade Deal – Bloomberg

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will meet a group of City financiers to discuss safeguarding London’s financial services in any trade deal with the European Union following Brexit.

Buffett Says He Will Never Invest in Cryptocurrencies – Reuters

Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett said he will never invest in cryptocurrencies.

Risks and Rewards: An Investors’ Guide to Asia Markets in 2018 – Bloomberg

Asia was the place to be for emerging-market investors in 2017, but a slew of issues and events risk standing in the way of the region repeating that world-beating performance.

Mifid II Is One Week Old: Here Is What We Know So Far – Financial News

Sweeping reforms to the way securities are traded across the European Union came into force a week ago today – and things have not gone 100% to plan for regulators and its architects.

Here’s What to Watch When Wall Street Banks Report 2017 Results – Bloomberg

Quiet trading desks, tepid loan growth and a slew of one-time charges means the biggest US banks are poised to report a collective plunge in fourth-quarter profit.

MiFID II, Best Execution and TCA – Profit & Loss (subscription)

It is a sad aspect of life in the compliance bowl in which we all now live, that box-ticking is so often the path of least resistance to a quiet life, but does it improve things? I doubt very much it does.

Regulatory News

US Senate Panel to Discuss Bitcoin with Markets Regulators: Source – Reuters

The US Senate’s financial services panel will hold a hearing next month with the country’s top markets regulators to discuss bitcoin amid rising concerns over the risks cryptocurrencies pose to the financial system, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Fed-Backed Digital Currency Is Inevitable – American Banker

Signs are pointing to the Federal Reserve beginning to take steps toward issuing its own digital currency.

Pressure from ECB Creates Division at Swedish Central Bank – Financial Times (subscription)

Sweden’s rate setters are becoming increasingly divided over how quickly the country can afford to dial down its highly stimulative monetary policy, as they struggle to reconcile the demands of a strong local economy and a dovish European Central Bank next door.

WFE Calls for Global Fintech Standards – Markets Media

In a recent note published by the World Federation of Exchanges, the global industry body called for regulators and authorities to work actively with the industry when writing and implementing new regulations and standards regarding market infrastructure.

Company News

Hedge Funds End Year on Strong Note – Profit & Loss

Hedge Funds gained 1.21% in December according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge. The index was up 10.44% at the end of 2017.

Crypto Hedge Funds Top 3,000% After Bitcoin Surge – Financial News

The HFR Cryptocurrency Index, which tracks managers trading cryptocurrencies, recorded a 3,175% increase over 2017, having gained 88.37% in December alone.

Thomson Reuters Announces Mifid II Updates – Profit & Loss

Thomson Reuters (TR) has made a number of service updates following the January 3 go-live date for Mifid II.

Market Savvy

Mexican, Canadian Assets Hit the Skids on Trump Nafta Report – Financial Times (subscription)

The Mexican peso and the Canadian dollar both took a sharp leg lower against the US dollar after a report said President Donald Trump could pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Australian Dollar Higher as Black Friday, iPhone Boost Retail Spending – Financial Times (subscription)

The Australian dollar gained as much as 0.4 per cent on the release of data showing better-than-expected retail spending in November.

Cryptocurrencies Drop as High Flier Ripple Trades 50% Below Peak – Bloomberg

Ripple, one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies in 2017, led a retreat among peers as some investors reassessed whether last year’s gains were justified.