Top Headlines

Ex-HSBC Currency Trader Convicted of Fraud for Front-Running – Bloomberg

Former HSBC Holdings currency trader Mark Johnson was found guilty of fraud for front-running a $3.5 billion client order, a victory for US prosecutors as they seek to root out misconduct in global financial markets. 

Dollar Climbs to Highest Level in More Than Three Months – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The dollar rose to its highest level in more than three months, buoyed by expectations of tax reform in the US.

Sterling Steadies Around $1.32 as Fed Chair Race in Focus – Reuters

The British pound steadied to around $1.32, with any optimism around progress in Brexit talks being overshadowed by a dollar boosted by speculation about a more hawkish chair of the US Federal Reserve.

Euro Holds Ground as Data Test ECB Policy Outlook – Financial Times (subscription)

Investors are keeping an eye on this morning’s run of economic data – but attention remains on the policy outlook at central banks, leaving the euro making modest gains.

Battle Hots Up for London Clearing Business Post-Brexit – Financial Times (subscription)

As negotiations over the UK’s exit from the EU grow more urgent, another critical battle is playing out with ramifications for global markets.

Luxembourg Says Punishing City of London After Brexit Would Harm EU – Reuters

The City of London must remain the top global financial centre after Brexit to avoid its financial services drifting to other parts of the world, Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna said.

“Swiss-Made” Helped Switzerland Weather Currency Storm – Reuters

The Swiss-made trademark on products from watches to chocolates helped export-reliant Switzerland tackle a currency shock which risked dragging it into a recession, according to a government report.

Getting the Currency Right Is Proving to Be the Key to Making Money in Stocks – Bloomberg

Getting currency trends right has been the difference this year between slim to large-scale returns when it comes to stocks and that isn’t likely to change soon.

Regulatory News

FCA Fines Merrill Lynch £34.5 Million for Transaction Reporting Failures – The Trade

Merrill Lynch has become the first firm to be slapped with a £34.5 million fine for failing to report transactions of exchange traded derivatives under European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

Trump Says He’s ‘Very, Very Close’ to Naming Fed Chair Nominee – Bloomberg

President Donald Trump told reporters he is “very, very close” to announcing his nominee for chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Reporting Rules Key for EU-US Swaps Trading Equivalence – Risk (subscription)

Market participants welcome outcomes-based approach, but need clarity where rules differ.

MEP Swinburne Sees ‘Mifid III’ Just Around the Corner – Financial News (subscription)

After crafting and influencing European financial legislation and fighting Brexit, the Conservative sees Mifid III on the horizon and has had enough.

US Fintech Industry Jealously Eyes UK Regulatory Scheme – American Banker (subscription)

The balkanized, often slow-moving system of supervising the burgeoning US fintech industry came into unflattering juxtaposition with a widely praised experiment by the UK government.

Company News

Despite Hype, Mainstream Institutional Investors Give Digital Currency Hedge Funds a Wide Berth – Business Day

Bitcoin is booming, digital currency hedge funds are sprouting at the rate of two a week and the value of all cryptocurrencies has surged tenfold in 2017 to more than $170bn.

Saudi Billionaire Alwaleed Sees Enron-Like Demise for Bitcoin – Bloomberg

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed is joining the long line of skeptics saying bitcoin is a bubble as the digital currency continues to set record highs.

Market Savvy 

China’s Yuan Strengthens as Fed Chief Speculation Weighs on Dollar – Reuters

China’s yuan strengthened against the US dollar, shrugging off the central bank’s weaker fixing as global investor caution surrounding next US Federal Reserve chief weighed on the greenback. 

Kiwi Dollar Hits Five-Month Lows After Labour Government Sets Out Policies – Reuters

The New Zealand dollar was the biggest mover in relatively stable trade in G10 currencies, falling to a five-month low after the incoming Labour government outlined its left-leaning policies.