Top Headlines

Dollar Falls After Fed Minutes – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The dollar dropped after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting disappointed some investors.

Mnuchin Says Dollar Strength Reflects Confidence in US Economy: WSJ – Reuters

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised the strong dollar as a reflection of confidence in the US economy, telling The Wall Street Journal in an interview that it was “a good thing” in the long run. 

South Africa’s Standard Bank in Talks with Watchdog in Rand-Rigging Probe – Reuters

South Africa’s Standard Bank is engaging with the Competition Commission over the watchdog’s investigation into alleged rigging of rand currency trading and has not suspended any employees to date, the bank said.

Forex Price Rigging, Spreading False News to Be Criminal Offences in South Korea – Reuters

Collusion, price-fixing and disseminating false news in the foreign exchange market will be punishable by criminal law in South Korea for the first time starting later this year as the government toughens up regulation.

Eyes on France as Dollar Drifts – Reuters

The dollar traded close to one-month highs, as the lack of a clearer signal from the US Federal Reserve that it might raise interest rates next month countered surprise praise from the new Treasury Secretary for a strong currency.

Why There Is Nothing Wrong with the Level of the Euro – Profit & Loss

What politicians often forget is that markets are, generally, very good at reflecting fundamentals.

Market Reacts Positively to Banxico FX Hedging Announcement – Profit & Loss

The Banco de Mexico (Banxico) has announced that it will offer FX hedging instruments to the market for up to US$20 billion, a move that led to a bounce in the peso and has gained approval from some local economists.

Bank of England to ‘Up Its Game’ in Overseeing Euro Clearing – Financial Times (subscription)

The Bank of England has warned against pulling euro clearing away from London because of “currency nationalism” and said it plans to “up its game” to press the UK’s advantage in overseeing a complicated but lucrative market.

It’s Time for Schemes to Consider Strategic Currency Hedging – Pensions Expert

The case for strategic currency hedging is based on an objective of reducing portfolio volatility, but at current low levels of sterling, UK investors have every incentive to implement the hedge now.

Volatile Bitcoin Nears Its All-Time High – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The price of the digital currency bitcoin is once again testing its all-time highs as a shake-up in China gives a boost to the Japanese cryptocurrency market and speculation mounts about a possible bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

Regulatory News

SEC Nominee Has Represented 8 of the 10 Largest Wall Street Banks in Past Three Years – Wall Street on Parade

President Trump’s nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, Walter J. (Jay) Clayton, a law partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, has represented 8 of the 10 largest Wall Street banks as recently as within the last three years.

CCPs Should Prep to Quash Sifi Swap Termination Stays – Risk (subscription)

Clearing houses need criteria for overriding stays on swap terminations.

VM Push Fails to Deliver Cleaner CSAs – Risk (subscription)

With the March 1 derivatives variation margin deadline looming, banks appear to have largely given up on hopes the project could be used to simplify the market’s bespoke collateral agreements.

MiFID Reporting Test Regime Set for Late 2017 – FOW (subscription)

The regulatory reporting arm of Nex, formerly Icap, said it expects firms to be able to test their reporting to regulators under MiFID II in the latter part of this year before the European rules kick-in early in 2018.

Company News

Thomson Reuters Launches MiFID II Platform – Profit & Loss

Thomson Reuters has made key enhancements to its data analytics platform, Velocity Analytics, to provide high-speed processing of real-time, streaming and historical data that the firm says will help EU and non-EU financial markets participants meet their MiFID II obligations.

Bloomberg Launches Canadian FX Benchmark Rates – Profit & Loss

Bloomberg has launched Canadian FX benchmark rates (BFIX) a week ahead of the Bank of Canada’s planned changes to the timing, frequency and calculation of the daily average rate for currencies against the Canadian dollar.

Citigroup Sets Up DC Team to Prep for Trump’s Regulatory Overhaul – Bloomberg

Citigroup is establishing a global regulatory affairs team in Washington as Wall Street firms prepare for the possibility of widespread changes to financial rules under the Trump administration.

Largest Futures Broker and Clearing Firm in the US Updates Global Connectivity – The Trade

R.J O’Brien has decided to update its global connectivity across its services through a partnership with BSO.

Market Savvy

C$ Pares Some Losses After Hitting a Two-Week Low – Reuters

The Canadian dollar hit a two-week low against its US counterpart, pressured by lower oil prices and a drop in domestic retail sales, but pared some losses after Federal Reserve minutes fell short of a hawkish tone.

Will Australian Dollar Demand Rise Against the Pound on Further Comments from RBA’s Lowe? – AUD News

The Australian dollar/pound exchange rate trended flatly, with Australian profit-taking and uncertainty about the UK’s future outside of the EU having negative impacts on the respective currencies.

Emerging Stocks Power to Fresh 19-Month Highs, Rand Firms – Reuters

Emerging equities powered to fresh 19-month highs after US Federal Reserve minutes suggested the Fed would hold off a March rate hike, while the South African rand briefly hit a one-week high after Wednesday’s budget.