Top Headlines

Forex Trading Up Sharply in 2018 as Volatility Returns – Reuters

Foreign exchange trading volumes have risen sharply since the start of this year, new data showed, as investors ramped up bets on a weaker dollar and uncertainty about the end of the era of cheap money stoked volatility.

Dollar Hits Lowest Since 2014, Heads for Worst Week in Two Years – Reuters

The dollar slipped to its lowest levels in more than three years against a basket of currencies, headed for its biggest weekly loss in two years as negative sentiment offset any support the greenback could take from rising Treasury yields.

The Weak Dollar Is Perplexing Wall Street Again – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The dollar’s recent tumble is reviving questions about why the US currency continues to weaken despite a strengthening economy.

Sterling Headed for Best Week in Five Months as Dollar Tumbles – Reuters

The pound is headed for its best weekly performance in five months against a dollar down across the board, although data showing British retail sales barely budged in January took some of the shine off sterling.

Japan’s Government Tries to Talk Down Rising Yen – Reuters

Japan’s top government spokesman said that recent moves in the currency market were one-sided and that the government would take appropriate measures if needed.

Rising Emerging Market Inflation Threatens Local Currency Debt Investors – Financial Times (subscription)

Dollar weakness is no longer the given it has been for the past 18 months.

UK Aims to Keep Financial Rules Close to EU After Brexit – Financial Times (subscription)

The UK is ready to set out its vision for how it wants financial services to operate after Brexit and favours an ambitious “mutual recognition” of regulations to preserve the City of London’s access to the EU.

Giancarlo Undercuts SDRs’ Push for Dual-Sided Reporting – Risk (subscription)

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission will not require both sides of a swap transaction to submit reports to a swap data repository despite pressure from SDRs to move to a dual-sided reporting model.

Swaps Data: The Monopoly Effect in Clearing – Risk (subscription)

There are only a handful of products where clearing volumes are evenly split between rivals.

Market Participants Call for More TCA Disclosures – FX Week (subscription)

The cost of TCA is negotiable, but the billing method should be disclosed, says one market participant.

There Are Too Many Mixed Messages on Bank Failure Rules – Financial News

Regulators must do more to convince investors they will not be subjected to moving regulatory goal posts and unpredictable, politically expedient decisions.

Regulatory News

GOP Senators Pan Trump Plan to Make Futures Industry Pay User Fees – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Senate Republicans criticized the Trump administration’s proposal to impose fees on the futures industry to fund the top US derivatives regulator, which has requested a bigger budget.

When Trump’s SEC Punishes Wall Street, It’s Often Done Quietly – Bloomberg

In recent months, the SEC has opted not to hype some hedge-fund and big-bank cases that its Trump-appointed chairman, former Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton, inherited from the agency’s previous leadership.

Moynihan: Big Banks are ‘Fine’ with Dodd-Frank – American Banker

While small and regional banks are pushing for a rollback of the Dodd-Frank Act, big banks are largely supportive of the 2010 financial reform law, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said.

Investors Warned of Cryptocurrency ‘Pump-and-Dump’ Schemes – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

CFTC says such scams seek to capitalize on growing interest in virtual currencies like bitcoin.

FCA Considers Global Fintech Sandbox – Markets Media

The Financial Conduct Authority is reviewing whether to extend its regulatory sandbox, which allows new firms to test innovative products with real customers in the live market under controlled conditions, outside the UK.

Company News 

Number of Crypto Hedge Funds Surges Amid Bitcoin Volatility – Reuters

Hedge funds focused on trading cryptocurrencies have struggled to eke out returns this year amid a sharp sell-off in the highly volatile market, in spite of a flood of new funds setting up to deploy investor cash.

CME Group Posts Record Options ADV in January – Finance Magnates

January’s FX Options ADV increased by 44%, reaching 99,427 daily contracts.

One Cryptocurrency to Rule Them All? – Profit & Loss (subscription)

Other cryptocurrencies will continue to catch up with bitcoin this year, but this is by no means a bad thing for this nascent industry.

Japan’s Cryptocurrency Industry to Launch Self-Regulating Body: Sources – Reuters

Japan’s two cryptocurrency industry groups are planning to merge to form a self-regulating body, seeking to better safeguard investors after last month’s $530 million (£375.68 million) heist of digital money, sources involved in the negotiations said.

Market Savvy

`Off to the Races’ for South Africa Assets as Ramaphosa Steps In – Bloomberg

Stocks surged the most since December 2014, the rand rallied to a three-year high and bond yields fell to a level last seen more than two years ago as market favorite Cyril Ramaphosa took the helm of Africa’s most industrialized economy.

Kiwi Has Shed Political Risk Premium: Westpac – Financial Times (subscription)

In a sign the market is getting comfortable with New Zealand’s new government, one major bank says the country’s currency is now trading above its fair value.

Bitcoin Surges Back Above $10,000 – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Despite 72% rise from recent low, virtual currency still far from its peak.