Top Headlines

Michael Bloomberg Actively Prepares to Enter 2020 Presidential Race – The New York Times

Michael R. Bloomberg is actively preparing to enter the Democratic presidential primary and is expected to file paperwork this week designating himself as a candidate in at least one state with an early filing deadline, people briefed on Mr. Bloomberg’s plans said.

US and China Agree to Roll Back Some Tariffs if Deal is Struck – The New York Times

The United States and China have agreed that an initial trade deal between the two countries would roll back a portion of the tariffs they are placing on each other’s products, officials from both countries said, a significant step toward defusing tensions between the world’s largest economies.

China Sets Yuan Midpoint Firmer than Key 7.00 Level for First Time in 3 Months – Reuters

China’s central bank lifted on Friday its official yuan midpoint to the highest level in over three months, breaching a key threshold, to reflect market optimism after Beijing and Washington agreed to roll back tariffs on each other’s goods if they reach a preliminary trade deal.

Death of Hong Kong Student Likely to Trigger Further Protests – Reuters

A student at a Hong Kong university who fell during protests over the weekend died on Friday, the first student death in months of anti-government demonstrations in the Chinese-ruled city that is likely to be a trigger for fresh unrest.

Italy Surpasses Greece as Euro Area’s Riskiest Borrower – Financial Times

Greece has lost the dubious distinction of being the riskiest government borrower in the eurozone after its bond yields dipped below Italy’s for the first time since 2008.

Gold and Silver Get Crushed as End-of-the-World Trade Implodes – Bloomberg

As investors fretted for most of the year that the trade war and slowing growth would end in a global recession, assets like gold and sovereign bonds provided protection. That ended spectacularly Thursday.

Is the End of Negative Bond Yield Phenomenon Nigh? – Reuters

The pool of negative-yielding euro zone bonds is draining at last as extreme economic pessimism gripping markets abates, but sub-zero borrowing costs are expected to remain a persistent feature of the year ahead.

Japan to Launch First Economic Stimulus Since 2016 – Financial Times

Shinzo Abe orders intervention over worries about global slowdown and sales tax impact.

Fed’s Bostic Says He Would Have Dissented Against Last Rate Cut, Economy is Solid – Reuters

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said that he would have probably dissented against the last rate cut if he had a vote in monetary policy because the US economy is “solid” and not in need of easing.

Regulatory News

Citi, Deutsche Get Go-Ahead to Probe Regulator Witnesses in Landmark Cartel Case – Reuters

Citigroup and Deutsche Bank may cross-examine four antitrust investigators involved in a criminal cartel prosecution against them, an Australian court ruled on Friday, a win for the defence in a closely watched legal battle.

Fed’s Repo Operations will not Fix Rate Spikes: Dealers – Risk

The US Treasury repo is likely to remain volatile through year-end and beyond despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stabilise overnight funding rates, according to rates specialists at two primary dealers.  

Record Fine for Tower Research as CFTC Hits Spoofers Again – Profit & Loss

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has again targeted spoofers in futures markets with two actions against firms, including a record fine for high frequency trading firm Tower Research.

CFTC Approves Transfer of trueEX Swap Execution Registration to Tassat Derivatives – CFTC

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an order on November 6, 2019, approving the transfer of the trueEX swap execution facility registration to Tassat Derivatives.

Jason Katz: ‘I Wasn’t Ready to Admit What I Had Done’ – FX Week

Jason Katz, a second eye witness in the criminal case against former JP Morgan currency trader Akshay Aiyer, said he wasn’t always truthful when he first began meeting with US Department of Justice investigators because he was not ready to confess to his crimes.

Crypto News

Tether Responds to Academic Paper on Bitcoin Manipulation; Calls it ‘Flawed’ and ‘Embarrassing’ – The Block

Tether has issued an official response to an updated paper republished early this week by two U.S. academics who claimed a single market whale on Bitfinex likely manipulated bitcoin’s surge in 2017.

China’s President Xi Wants the Nation to Lead on Blockchain, But Insiders Say Local Governments Might Get in the Way – The Block

Since Chinese President Xi Jinping publicly applauded blockchain technology two weeks ago, businesses and local governments in China have been rushing to associate themselves with the new technology

The SEC Has Rejected Every Bitcoin ETF. This Firm Thinks It Has a Solution – Coindesk

One company thinks it knows how to get a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approved by U.S. regulators. Wilshire Phoenix, a relatively young financial firm in New York, filed to launch the United States Bitcoin & Treasury Investment Trust ETF in May with NYSE Arca. 

Chinese Cryptomining Giant Bitmain’s Civil War Breaks into Open – Financial Times

A civil war broke out at the cryptocurrency giant Bitmain on Thursday after ousted co-founder Micree Ketuan Zhan threatened to take legal action to seize back control of the company.

Cryptos Lack Features to be Shariah Compliant – FOW

Panellists in Dubai discuss whether cryptos can be Shariah compliant but suggest the landscape is changing.

Company News

As Citi Mulls Platform Cull, Number of Connections Still Likely to be High – Profit & Loss

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the discussions I have been having post the news that Citi is closely studying the number of channels it supports in FX markets is not that several other major LPs have confided in me that they expect, or are currently conducting, a similar review, but the number of LPs who expressed surprise that after cutting back Citi is expected to have 15 or so connections. 

GFI Re-Opens Tokyo Office with G10 FX Swaps Desk – Profit & Loss

BGC Group’s GFI has re-established a presence in Japan with the opening of a new office by GFI Group (Japan).

Inside the New Quant Gold Rush, Traders Get Rich by Coding – Bloomberg

Winning in the bond market used to come down to math skills, gut instinct and the patience to wade through a hefty prospectus. That was before the quants came.

Katz New Head of Banking at Mizuho Americas – Profit & Loss

Mizuho Americas has announced the appointment of Michal Katz as head of banking Americas. She reports to Jerry Rizzieri, president and CEO of Mizuho Securities USA.

Market Savvy

Euro Emerges as Brave Bet Against Dollar Heading Toward 2020 – Bloomberg

For those thinking of betting against the resilient dollar, the dilemma has been what to actually buy instead. The answer, for some, is at once obvious and brave: the euro.

Biggest Rise in German Exports in Nearly Two Years Gives Some Relief from Recession Fears – Reuters

German exports posted their biggest rise in almost two years in September, data showed on Friday, providing some relief amid widespread concerns that Europe’s largest economy will dip into recession in the third quarter.

Italian Banks Jumping into ECB Arbitrage Trade? – Reuters

A rise in overnight borrowing rates for trades that use Italian government bonds as collateral suggests that some of the country’s banks may have started taking advantage of tiered ECB interest rates to make a profit.

IMF Praises Bank of Mexico for Not Intervening in FX Market – FX Week

The International Monetary Fund has praised the Bank of Mexico for choosing not to take action against peso movements in recent months.

A ‘Green Interest Rate?’ Fed Digs into Climate Change Economics – Reuters

In their deliberations on monetary policy, Federal Reserve policymakers need to consider many factors, but up to now, climate change has not been one of them.