Top Headlines 

Dollar Lower as Investors Eye Tax Changes and Fed Moves – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The dollar fell, weighed down by worries that the Federal Reserve may not raise interest rates at a faster pace next year despite solid US growth.

Euro Climbs on Caution Over Impact of US Tax Bill – Reuters

The euro rose slightly as investors took a cautious view over how much tax reforms, if passed, would boost the US economy, with most major currencies trading in tight ranges in a relatively thin market. 

Sterling Slips as Brexit Talks Keep Investors Cautious – Reuters

Sterling dipped in a calm market after climbing the previous day, with investors cautious about risks surrounding Brexit negotiations for the year ahead despite progress in the talks last week.

CME’s Bitcoin Futures Debut Wins with Trading Value – Bloomberg

Exchange saw lighter volume than rival Cboe, but larger contract size made up for the difference.

Should Clearing of Bitcoin Futures Be Ringfenced? – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Clearinghouses handling bitcoin futures are clearing them like any other financial product, though margin requirements reflect they are based on a volatile market.

UK Cannot Have a Special Deal for the City, Says EU’s Brexit Negotiator – The Guardian

Michel Barnier’s stark declaration quashes hopes for a bespoke trade deal to include financial services.

A New Brokerage Model – Profit & Loss (video)

Following the launch of the consolidated tape in September, Dmitri Galinov, CEO of FastMatch, is envisaging a new business model whereby the platform will not charge firms at all for brokerage.

Regulatory News

MiFID Deadline May Leave Firms in Laggard Countries in the Lurch – Bloomberg

When the European Union’s new MiFID II market rules kick in on January 3, some firms will be temporarily unable to provide services across borders within the bloc.

Germany Joins French-led Moves to Regulate Bitcoin at G20 Level – Bloomberg

Germany joined European governments pushing for global bitcoin regulation amid mounting alarm that the world’s most popular digital currency is being used by money-launderers, drug traffickers and terrorists.

Regulators Take Positions on Distributed Ledger Technologies – Business Insider

The FCA affirmed the technologies can be effectively regulated under existing laws.

Spread-Betting and a Bitcoin-Shaped Hole in the Rules – Bloomberg

The regulatory backlash against risky financial spread-betting is mounting.

Company News

Toronto’s Yuan Clearing Hub Sees Slow Trading Start – Bloomberg

Three years after it opened amid much fanfare with the promise of paving the way to more trade between Canada and China, the yuan hub in Toronto has proven to be a bit of a dud.

Chasing the Next Bitcoin, Investors Shell Out $700 Million for Coins With ‘No Purpose’ – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

One of the hottest cryptocurrency investments of 2017 comes from a software startup that doesn’t plan to sell any software and describes what it is selling – something called a digital token – as having “no purpose.”

Japan’s Love of Bitcoin Shows Off Dullness of Yen – Financial Times (subscription)

Forget the traditional Christmas consumer brand stand-off: when it comes to emotion-twanging advertising, Japan’s bitcoin trading platforms are the true prize fight.

Market Savvy

South African Rand Surges as Ramaphosa Wins ANC Vote – Financial Times (subscription)

The South African rand surged by more than four per cent, pushing the currency to its highest level in six months, after deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was elected the new leader of the ruling African National Congress.

Funds Clash Over Whether Aussie Will Drop Below 70 Cents – Bloomberg

Two of Australia’s largest asset managers are at odds about whether their nation’s currency will break below 70 US cents.