Top Headlines 

FBI Investigating American Express Foreign Exchange Pricing – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into pricing practices within American Express’s foreign exchange unit. The investigation is in its early stages and is focused on whether the foreign exchange international payments department misrepresented pricing to clients in order to win their business. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is also looking into the matter. 

Singapore FX Market Riding High on World Events – Euromoney

The Southeast Asian FX market is on fire and it is set to get a further boost thanks to a combination of political and economic turbulence, a regulator committed to facilitating infrastructure investment and increased interest from non-bank market makers.

Show Me the Money – Profit & Loss

Looking at some recent hedge fund surveys, one clear trend emerges: hedge fund fees are under continued pressure.  

NEX, CME Up in August, Integral Down – Profit & Loss

The second group of venues to report data indicate a similar pattern to the first, with NEX Markets and CME Group up month-on-month and Integral down – all were up on a year-on-year basis.

Direct Streaming Gains Foothold in US Treasuries Market –

In the safe and predictable world of government bonds, banks wishing to trade US Treasuries on an electronic platform traditionally had a choice of two venues: BrokerTec and Nasdaq Fixed Income (known as eSpeed until last year). Trading remained free of the fragmentation that has beset markets such as foreign exchange. Until now, that is.  

Revealed: The Most Popular Headhunters in the City – Financial News (subscription)

Executive Grapevine has published its annual ranking of the recruitment firms most in demand among UK financial institutions.

Regulatory News

SEC Is Back at Full Strength with Five Members – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The Senate confirmed Elad Roisman to join the Securities and Exchange Commission, giving the regulator a fifth and final member as it prepares to impose restrictions on stockbroker advice while loosening the reins on some public companies.

ESMA Publishes Opinion on Proposed Amendments to SFTR Technical Standards – ESMA

The European Securities and Markets Authority has declined to amend the draft technical standards as proposed by the European Commission, which relate to provisions on the use of legal entity identifiers for branches and unique transaction identifiers for reporting to trade repositories. 

Crypto News 

Goldman Sachs Cools Cryptocurrency Trading Plans – Report – Financial News (subscription)

Goldman Sachs has said it is still deciding on its strategy for the growing digital assets market, following reports it had ditched immediate plans to offer trading in cryptocurrencies.

Goldman’s Crypto Know-How Sought by Huge Korean Investor – Bloomberg

It’s one of the last big money managers you’d expect to take an interest in cryptocurrencies. But Korea Post, which oversees $112 billion and is run by the same South Korean government that warned virtual currencies might corrupt the nation’s youth, is trying to learn more about the nascent market.

Former City Trading Rivals Sign Cryptocurrency Tech Pact – Financial News (subscription)

Aquis, founded by trading veteran Alasdair Haynes, will provide the technology to allow buyers and sellers of cryptocurrencies and tokens to be matched on Archax, an exchange that plans to go live in the first half of 2019.

Crypto World Rocked After Long-Time Advocate Backpedals – Bloomberg

Erik Voorhees, chief executive officer of cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift, said in a blog post on Tuesday the platform is launching a membership program, which “requires basic personal information to be collected.” and will “become mandatory soon.” It seems like an about-face for the platform which Voorhees said was known as “the exchange without accounts.”

Apex Clearing to Support Crypto Investments by End of Year – The Trade Crypto

Custody and clearing specialist Apex Clearing is set to launch a new service to offer broker dealers and other platforms access to cryptocurrency investments. Apex Crypto, due to go live in the fourth quarter this year, will offer access to a range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum. 

Company News 

State Street Searches for Head of Global Markets Division – Global Investor (subscription) 

The Boston-based bank is on the hunt for a new head who will answer directly to Lou Maiuri. 

FlexTrade Launches New Back-Testing Framework – Profit & Loss

FlexTrade has launched a new back-testing framework designed to gauge and adjust the performance of past trading strategies for real-time use in trading equities, FX and futures. 

IHS Markit Overhauls Derivatives ‘Nerve Center’ with TradeServ Launch – Waters Technology (subscription)

MarkitSERV plans to retire DSMatch and fold MarkitWire and other products into a cloud-based platform.

DTCC Blockchain Platform Scheduled for Early 2019 Launch – Sell-Side Technology (subscription)

An ambitious project from the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. to replace the system that processes most credit derivatives trades with blockchain technology is now loosely scheduled to go live in the first half of 2019. 

ETF Business Boosted at Citi by Several New Appointments – The Trade

Citi has made new appointments across equities, prime, futures and securities services, and fixed income within its ETF business.

German Metzler Bank Hires New Change FX to Analyse Forex Transaction Costs – Finance Magnates

UK-based New Change FX has been selected by Metzler Capital Markets, a supplier of currency management services in Germany and part of Metzler Bank, as a partner to analyse transaction costs. 

Market Savvy 

EM Pain Is Gain for Unloved Haven Currencies Now Flashing Green – Bloomberg

A sell-off that’s gripped emerging market currencies has thrust the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc back into leading roles as havens from market volatility. As they clock up gains along with the US dollar, what’s remarkable is how long it took them.

Sterling Nudges Up, Still Off Previous Highs on Brexit, Trade War Fears – Reuters

Sterling edged higher on Thursday but remained well below highs hit in the previous session due to uncertainty over the progress of the Brexit negotiations, while trade concerns kept a lid on risk appetite.

Dollar Steady on US Tariff Fears – Reuters

The dollar held steady on Thursday amid growing concerns that US President Donald Trump would impose further tariffs on Chinese imports, though a bounce in European currencies impeded a broader rally by the greenback.

Faced with Trade War Risk, Yuan to Manage Only Modest Rise: Reuters Poll – Reuters

The Chinese yuan will trim only some of its recent losses against the dollar over the coming year, with the People’s Bank of China increasingly likely to intervene to support the currency against a still-rampant dollar, a Reuters poll found.