Top Headlines

FXPA Submits Comments to CFTC on SEF Reforms – FXPA

FXPA’s letter is focused on the need for the CFTC to exempt NDFs and exchange-traded or cleared swaps from de minimis threshold calculations as part of any SEF reform.  

FX Market Volatility at its Lowest Level Since 2014 – Financial Times

If you thought the equity market looked calm at the moment, it can’t hold a candle to foreign exchange, where levels of volatility are hovering around their lowest levels since 2014.

Hedge Fund Performance Improves – But is it Enough? – Profit & Loss

Will improved performance from hedge funds in early 2019 help shift the perspectives of prospective allocators to these funds?

The Guide to Staying Employed in an Investment Bank in 2019 – eFinancialCareers

If you want to keep your job in an investment bank over the next nine months, you might want to take defensive action. 2019 has not started well, and according to a new report on the banking industry by Morgan Stanley and Oliver Wyman, it will not end well either. 

Regulatory News

A Transatlantic Front Opens in the Brexit Battle Over Derivatives – Financial Times

There is a trillion-dollar catch that sits completely outside the British parliament’s control: the US. The CFTC has told Europe that it will not accept Esma controlling London’s swaps business insofar as it impinges on dollar markets and US banks. This is partly about national pride. But there is an ideological battle, too.

EU Said to See Mid-April Date for UK to Decide Brexit Fate – Bloomberg

The European Union is likely to tell Theresa May that she must decide by mid-April whether to extend Brexit until 2020 or risk leaving in three months without a deal, a senior EU official said.

High-Level US-China Trade Talks to Resume in Final Push for Deal – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Negotiators for the US and China have scheduled a new round of high-level trade talks in Beijing and Washington, aiming to close a deal by late April to end the year-long dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Life After Libor: The Wonderful World of New Interest Rate Benchmarks – Tabb Forum

The transition from Libor introduces unprecedented choice into fixed income markets, as it will create multiple alternatives, each with its own distinct features and applications. But practitioners need to become familiar with which of the alternative new benchmarks best conform to their needs.

Crypto News

Report Says Most Crypto Trading Volume Is Suspicious – Bloomberg

Most of the trading volume on the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges is questionable, according to a report from a startup that revisits one of the recurring concerns in the decade-old digital asset market.

Shoring Up Morale and Opening Up Technology: An Exclusive Interview with Digital Asset’s New CEO – The Block

Digital Asset, the New York-based blockchain company, has found a new chief executive officer to replace Wall Street veteran Blythe Masters, who stepped down from the position at the end of 2018, the company announced Tuesday.

Seed CX Launches Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin Trading – Profit & Loss

Seed CX, which through its subsidiaries offers a licensed exchange for the institutional trading and settlement of spot digital asset products, is now offering trading in bitcoin cash and litecoin.

Bitcoin’s Share of Total Crypto Market Slips Back Toward 50% – CoinDesk

Bitcoin’s dominance rate, or its share of the total cryptocurrency market, is on the verge of falling below 50 percent for the first time in over seven months.

Company News

Wise Exits Citi – Profit & Loss

Danny Wise has left Citi in London where he was a managing director and head of European G10 spot FX trading.

A Shakeup is Underway in Bank of America’s Sales and Trading Division – Business Insider (subscription)

Karen Fang, the head of sales and structuring for FICC in the Americas and head of cross-asset strategies and solutions, is leaving her post for a role in trading, according to an internal memo. She will report to Jim DeMare and Bernie Mensah, global co-heads of FICC trading.

Startups Aim to Overhaul Trading in Treasurys – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

A handful of startup trading platforms is trying to reshape the $15 trillion US Treasurys market. Although Treasurys are the world’s largest securities market, most investors looking to trade must request individual price quotes from dealers, which are typically big banks or investment houses.

Former Numis Boss Hemsley Pulls Out of Deal for Nex Exchange – Financial Times

Oliver Hemsley, the retired founder of Numis Securities, has pulled out of a deal to take over Nex Exchange, which sought to revitalise the UK market for fledgling shares.

SmartStream Partners with Cassini Systems to Help Firms Meet UMR Obligations – HedgeWeek

SmartStream Technologies has partnered with Cassini Systems, a provider of pre- and post-trade margin analytics for buy-side derivatives trading, to help financial institutions comply with BCBS-IOSCO margin requirements for uncleared OTC derivatives.

Market Savvy

Likely Brexit Delay Ushers More Uncertainty for the Pound – Reuters

Sterling fell by a third of a percent on Wednesday as investors remained wary about the prospects of the British currency as Prime Minister Theresa May requests a short delay to Brexit after her failure to get a divorce deal ratified.

Dollar Gains on Trade War Jitters Before Fed – Reuters

The dollar rose on Wednesday, attracting safe-haven bids after reports of further tension in US-China trade negotiations, but its gains were slight, with caution expected from the Federal Reserve at its policy meeting later in the day.

Australian Dollar Weakens as US-China Trade Worries Reappear – Financial Times

The Australian dollar edged lower in a choppy Asia morning session for foreign exchange markets following reports of new tensions in the US-China trade negotiations.