Top Headlines

Fed Minutes Guide: Limits of Patience, Pace of Rate Increases – Bloomberg

A list of what to look for when the Federal Reserve releases minutes of the December 16-17 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee at 2pm today in Washington.

Currency Funds See Fifth Month of Positive Returns – FX Week (subscription)
Currency funds registered a fifth-consecutive month of positive returns in November 2014, according to the Parker FX Index, which reported a 0.68% return, representing a 3.02% increase on the previous three months.

UK Pension Sues Investment Consultant for $72 Million Over Botched Currency Hedge – Opalesque
The UK’s British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme, one of the largest pension funds in the UK, is suing global consulting firm Towers Watson over its alleged “negligent investment consulting advice” in relation to a currency hedge.

SAFE Checks on Banks’ FX Trading – Shanghai Daily
China’s top foreign exchange regulator has started compliance checks of foreign-currency transactions involving the country’s biggest lenders as it continues to try to contain risks in cross-border capital flows.

SNB Interventions Boost Currency Reserves to Record High – Bloomberg
The Swiss National Bank’s foreign currency reserves hit a record in December after an appreciation of the franc forced the institution to end a two-year hiatus in interventions.

Euro Hits Nine-Year Low as Brent Oil Goes Below $50 – Reuters
The euro hit a nine-year trough today as collapsing oil prices and worries about the world economy drove skittish investors into the arms of safe-haven sovereign debt. From Japan to Germany to Australia, government borrowing costs fell to all-time lows as oil fell 10% in just two days.

Euro Drop a Turning Point for Central Bank Reserves – Bloomberg
Central banks and reserve managers are breaking from past practice by showing little appetite to add euros as the currency tumbles. The total amount of reserves held in euros fell 8.1% in the third quarter, more than the currency’s 7.8% decline in the period against the dollar.



Regulatory News

BoE Governing Body Kept in Dark During Crisis – Financial Times (subscription)
Almost full Bank of England Court minutes from mid-2007 to 2009, published today, underline the importance of transparency and streamlined governance of the central bank proposed in December by Mark Carney, the present governor.

Q&A: Scott O’Malia, CEO, ISDA – GlobalCapital (subscription)
Harmonisation and cross-border issues are key concerns for the International Swaps and Derivatives Association as markets enter 2015.



Company News

KRX to Make Sweeping Derivatives Reforms – Financial Times (subscription)
The Korea Exchange is to launch a new venue for trading renminbi currency futures, equities and interest rates as part of sweeping reforms to its main securities and derivatives markets.

Bitcoin Exchange Bitstamp Halted After Security Breach – Financial Times (subscription)
Europe’s leading bitcoin exchange has been forced to suspend operations after losing millions of dollars’ worth of the virtual currency due to a breach of its systems.



Market Savvy  

The RUB Wobbles on Lower Oil, Again
After strengthening by some 30% between December 16 and 25 due to intervention by the Ministry of Finance and pressure on corporations to convert more of their export earnings, the RUB has weakened by 17%, mirroring the fall in the price of Brent oil. With no let-up in OPEC production in sight and rising stock building of oil reserves, oil (Brent) will likely continue to fall. A price of $40/b in H1 2015 looks realistic after which prices should start to recover. The CBR will continue to announce measures to support the banking system and corporations needing foreign currency for debt service. Nevertheless, due to low liquidity during the Russian New Year holiday week, the risk of a renewed run on the RUB is rising.



Press Releases

Boston Technologies Powered by Forexware and FXStreet Form Global Partnership
Boston Technologies Powered by Forexware, a provider of FX trading technology and top-tier liquidity for institutional and retail brokerage firms, has teamed up with FXStreet to distribute FXStreet’s FX news.

First Derivatives Enters Fast Growing Digital Marketing Platform Market
First Derivatives has announced the evolution of its Delta software platform, powered by kdb+, into marketing analytics through the launch of Delta Marketing Cloud.



Industry Events

IFM Lifecycle of Derivatives Trades: Uncovering the Middle and Back Office Functions, 22 January in Chicago, IL; 30 January in New York, NY; 12 March in Chicago, IL; 7 May in New York, NY; 14 May in Chicago, IL
Managed Funds Association’s Network 2015, 26-28 January in Miami, FL
ACI World Congress 2015, 3-7 February in Milan
FIA/SIFMA Asset Management Derivatives Forum 2015, 4-6 February in Dana Point, CA
FX Week Australia, 12 February in Sydney, NSW
FX Invest Europe, 24 February, Frankfurt, Germany
AFME 10th Annual European Market Liquidity Conference, 25 February in London
FIA International Futures Conference Boca 2015, 10-13 March in Boca Raton, FL