Mexico, US Likely ‘Hours’ Away From NAFTA Agreement: Minister – Reuters

US and Mexican trade negotiators are “hours” away from squaring away bilateral differences on the North American Free Trade Agreement but work with Canada is likely to stretch into September, a top Mexican official said on Sunday.

China Sets Yuan Fix Stronger than Expected, Revives ‘X’ Factor – Reuters

China’s central bank on Monday lifted its official yuan midpoint more than expected to 6.8508 per dollar after it re-introduced a counter-cyclical factor to its daily fixing mechanism to support the currency.

Dollar Softens as Powell Disappoints Bulls – Reuters

The dollar’s safe-haven appeal faded on Monday after risk sentiment in the broader markets picked up following a well-received speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

A Triumph of Hope Over Expectation? – Profit & Loss (subscription)

Ice Futures US’ FX contracts, the Millions, are approaching their 10thanniversary and last week the exchange recertified them with the CFTC, in spite of the fact that no contracts have traded for almost four year.

Irish Foreign Minister Says No-Deal Brexit ‘Very, Very Unlikely’ – Reuters

It is “very, very unlikely” that Britain will crash out of the European Union next year without an exit deal with the bloc, Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Sunday.

Trump’s China Hawks Prepare to Swoop as Trade Talks Go Nowhere – Bloomberg

The US’s trade war with China is about to get uglier. After a long, hot summer spent weighing risks and firing warning shots, the hawks in President Donald Trump’s administration have gained the upper hand — and they’re set to unleash a fall offensive.

Has the Emerging Markets Crisis Cycle Ended? – Financial News (subscription)

Judging by the limited contagion from the Turkish crisis, it seems that longstanding patterns in emerging markets may no longer apply.

Trump’s Controversial South Africa Tweet Hit its Currency – And Things Could Get Much Worse – Business Insider

President Trump’s foreign policy tirade has turned in a surprising new direction: South Africa. This is more a risk for the rand than the sovereign since a large part of South Africa’s external debt has been issued in local currency.

Regulatory News

Ireland’s Central Bank Deputy Joins Race for Top ECB Bank Regulation Job –  Financial Times (subscription)

Dublin has joined the race to secure the top bank regulation job in the eurozone, declaring the candidacy of Ireland’s deputy central bank governor Sharon Donnery to become chair of the ECB’s single supervisory mechanism.

Trump’s Stances Weaken Support for US Official to Lead Global Banking Body – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Randal Quarles had emerged as a front-runner to chair the Financial Stability Board, but some European officials cooled on the prospect after president’s postures at G-7, NATO conferences.

Wealthy Chinese Find Currency Controls Crimping Overseas Investment Options – South China Morning Post

Chinese high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs are showing increased interest in US dollar private equity and venture capital funds to diversify their assets, but are running up against currency controls that make it difficult for them to get their money where they want it.

Tinkering Will not Deliver a Stronger Role for the Euro – Financial Times (subscription)

Giving the currency a bigger global function means rewiring the EU’s machinery.

Esma’s Retail Forex Regulation Opens Up Opportunities for Larger Market Players – Euromoney
The regulation recently adopted by the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) around the provision of contracts for difference (CFDs) and binary options to retail investors has raised a furore among retail traders and brokers.

Crypto News

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Bring Asia Funds to the Forefront of US Tech – Techcrunch

Since early 2017, there’s been a new trend in the U.S. where a number of Asian funds have been actively involved in early-stage crypto investing.

Chinese Internet Giants Move to Shut Cryptocurrency Forums and Transactions – South China Morning Post

Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent blocked cryptocurrency-related activities on its platforms amid Beijing’s intensifying crackdown on the digital money.

These Crypto Tycoons Are About to Learn How Rich They Really Are – Bloomberg

One of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency tycoons are about to find out how much they’re really worth.

China Warns Public Over ‘Blockchain’ Ponzi Schemes – Financial Times (subscription)

Investors told to be on guard against buzzwords and dubious marketing claims.

This Bitcoin Bear Season May Last For A While – Ethereum World News

Although the market has begun to recover, albeit ever so slightly, there are some industry leaders that aren’t convinced that Bitcoin is back in bull mode just yet.

Russia May Criminalize Illegal Cryptocurrency Activities – Cryptoslate

Maintaining its positive, yet careful, stance on cryptocurrencies, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs is considering making all unauthorized cryptocurrencies a criminally-liable offense.

Company News

Vanguard Nips at BlackRock’s Heels for Fund Crown – Financial Times (subscription)

Vanguard is fast catching up on BlackRock as the world’s biggest money manager as the two titans of the global asset management industry, who collectively manage $11.5tn, battle for even greater market share.

The Big Hedge-Fund Strategy That Isn’t Working – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Following trends in financial markets was once one of the most profitable investment strategies around. Now the approach is being battered as cheap replica funds crowd into the space.

China’s Industrial Profit Growth Cools for Third Straight Month – Reuters

Profit growth for China’s industrial firms cooled for a third straight month in July in a further indication that demand in the world’s second-biggest economy is cooling even as U.S. trade pressure mounts.

Market Savvy

US Dollar’s Rise Puts Canada, Australia, New Zealand in Spotlight – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Canada, Australia and New Zealand are rich countries, but currency traders are watching them with interest for signs of the sort of malaise that often hits emerging markets when the U.S. dollar is rising.

Asia Stocks Buoyed by Record Session for Wall Street – Financial Times (subscription)

Dollar steady and bonds quiet as oil prices walk back some of last week’s gains.

It’s Not 2008. Don’t Look to Beijing for a Big Stimulus Programme – South China Morning Post

A strong dollar, weak commodities and slowing growth have left some hoping Beijing will step on the accelerator. But the Chinese economy has changed – and besides, it already has all the flashy infrastructure it needs.