Top Headlines

Lawyers for Ex-HSBC Trader Attack ‘Ever-Shifting’ Case – Financial Times

The US Department of Justice failed to prove that Mark Johnson, HSBC’s former chief currencies trader, broke any laws in an “ever-shifting, contradictory” case against him, lawyers will argue in an appeal against a conviction for rate-rigging.

Brexit Forces Equity, Foreign Exchange Markets to Leave London – Bloomberg

CME Group will move its foreign exchange forwards and swaps venue from London to Amsterdam, while Cboe Global Markets will shift most European equities trading to its market in the Dutch capital after Brexit.

Case Alleging Libor-Rigging Launched against Raft of Major Banks – City A.M.

A string of major banks have been accused of rigging the Libor benchmark again, five years on from a major scandal. A class action has been filed in the US against banks such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, UBS, Bank of America, Citi and Deutsche Bank.

European ETF Trading Increasingly Automated as Mifid II Takes Hold – Financial Times

Europe’s Mifid II rules are inexorably reshaping its fragmented market for exchange-traded products — and humans are being phased out. The winners from the overhaul appear to be electronic venues that trade over-the-counter products, rather than stock exchanges.

Regulatory News

Wall Street Backlash Sinks Plan to Transform Swaps Market – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Faced with criticism from firms such as Citadel Securities and Goldman Sachs, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo plans to withdraw an existing proposal on swap trading and rewrite it after incorporating industry feedback, he said in an interview.

EU States Warned Not to Delay No-Deal Brexit Plans for Finance – Bloomberg

Faced with political chaos in London, the European Unionn is stepping up its efforts to avoid a rupture in financial markets if the UK leaves without an agreement in little more than two months.

Mifid II’s Transparency Rules Go Global – Financial Times

European financial regulation usually strikes fear into US asset managers. Twelve months after the implementation of Mifid II, however, some US managers are voluntarily signing up for transparency rules that do not apply to them.

Preparation Already Underway for Next Rounds of Initial Margin Rules – The Trade

The level and extent of the readiness at financial institutions ahead of the introduction of the final two waves of initial margining requirements for bilaterally traded, uncleared over-the-counter derivatives is a dramatic improvement over the previous compliance deadlines, according to BNY Mellon.

Crypto News

LSE Breaks into Cryptocurrency Industry By Selling Trading Tech – Financial Times

The London Stock Exchange is breaking into the cryptocurrency industry by agreeing to sell some of its trading technology to AAX, a Hong Kong-based digital asset exchange.

CME and Cboe See Sharp Fall in Bitcoin Futures Volumes – The Trade

Statistics from CryptoCompare show that Bitcoin futures volumes at CME and Cboe fell sharply in December compared to volumes the month prior.

Cryptocurrencies Fail Fundamental Tests, BOE’s van Steenis Says – Bloomberg

Cryptocurrencies fail fundamental tests of financial services, according to Huw van Steenis, senior adviser to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. Van Steenis, who previously worked at Schroders and Morgan Stanley, joined the BOE last year. He said that digital coins such as Bitcoin aren’t currently high on his list of concerns.

Ethereum Founder Joins ErisX Board of Directors – The Trade Crypto

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin has been appointed to the board at ErisX, alongside former SunGard CEO Cris Conde.

Company News

Banks Bet on Data to Rescue Research – (subscription)

Barclays, Morgan Stanley and UBS are among those using data science to pep up their research offerings

Eurex’s New Swiss Rate Futures in Naming Pickle – (subscription)

The German exchange used the ‘wrong month’ to name Saron futures.

LMAX Exchange Appoints Two in Asia-Pacific – Profit & Loss

LMAX Exchange has added two salespeople to its roster in Asia-Pacific with the hiring of Jason Huang and Shang Lin.

Saxo Taps Xu for New China Role – Profit & Loss

Fan Xu has been appointed head of Greater China Business for Saxo Bank, based in Shanghai and reporting to Saxo Bank founder and CEO, Kim Fournais. 

PGGM Addresses Liquidity Concerns Through Eurex’s Repo Clearing Service – The Trade

Dutch pension fund PGGM has signed up to use Eurex’s centrally cleared repo markets using the central counterparty’s ISA Direct service as a way to address growing liquidity concerns caused by regulation.

Market Savvy

Sterling Reclaims $1.29 after Reassuring Jobs Data – Financial Times

Sterling reclaims $1.29 after reassuring jobs data provides some distraction from Brexit politics.

Dollar Near Three-Week High after IMF Cuts Growth Forecasts – Reuters

The dollar held at a near three-week high on Tuesday as investors sought the relative safety of the US currency after the International Monetary Fund cut its forecasts for the world economy in 2019 and 2020.

An Economic Winter Grips the Euro – Bloomberg

Just three weeks into 2019, analysts’ conviction this will be the year of the euro – and higher bund yields – is being tested. The common currency has declined against each one of its Group-of-10 peers outside Europe as slowing euro-area growth, stalling inflation and lingering political risks hold investors back.