Top News

Offshore Yuan Forwards Show Bears’ Confidence Has Been Shaken – Bloomberg   Global investors are winding in bets on a yuan devaluation as a dollar rally reverses at the same time as China strengthens support for its currency.

Trader’s 700% Profit Boast Shows Why Kremlin Hates Ruble Swings – Bloomberg   Russian ruble speculators are popping up everywhere and the Kremlin isn’t happy about it.

Why Wall Street is Embracing the Blockchain – Its Biggest Threat – Wired Just before Christmas, and its free-thinking CEO, Patrick Byrne, announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission had approved its plan to issue stock over the blockchain, the vast online ledger that drives the bitcoin digital currency.

So Much For George Soros’ Great China Currency Short – Forbes   Take that, George Soros. They warned you. The People’s Bank of China took more yuan out of the market on Monday, causing it to rise to 6.49 to the dollar. Shares of FXCM Skyrocket 15% as Investors Anticipate Higher Q1 Revenues – Finance Magnates Shares of FXCM have been trending higher today, with no material events reported by the company. What could be the main factor behind the 15 per cent increase in today’s trading on the New York Stock Exchange is the realization by investors that the foreign exchange and CFDs brokerage is likely to have a pretty good quarter.

Regulatory News

Esma Updates Emir Q&A The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today issued an update of its Question and Answers (Q&As) regarding the implementation of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

Fed’s Kashkari Floats Breaking Up Big Banks to Avert Meltdown – Bloomberg   The former U.S. Treasury official who led the 2008 bailout program for the nation’s biggest banks says in his new role at the Federal Reserve that Congress and regulators should consider breaking them up to protect the financial system from another crisis.

Company News

IBM Bets on Bitcoin Ledger – Wall Street Journal (subscription)   International Business Machines Inc. is becoming the biggest backer of a technology that underpins the Bitcoin digital currency. In the coming year, IBM will begin testing its own variation on the transactional software known as blockchain, aiming to simplify life for customers who lease IBM’s computer hardware, the company said.

Starwood to Report Q4 Earnings: Fx to Spoil the Party? – Zacks Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT – Analyst Report) is set to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 results on Feb 18, before the opening bell. Last quarter, this leading hotelier posted a positive earnings surprise of 2.78%, bringing the trailing four-quarter average to 14.08%, with positive earnings surprises in all the trailing four quarters.

Forest Park FX Selects Trent Hoerr as its New Head of Sales – Finance Magnates   U.S. based global introducing broker Forest Park FX has announced that Trent Hoerr is the firm’s new Head of Sales.  The former Global Head of Operations at DirectFX, Hoerr has extensive experience with forex in both sales and operations.  Prior to DirectFX, Hoerr served as ThinkForex’s Head of Institutional Sales.

FX Market Changes Require New Hiring Strategies – FTSE Global Markets Changes in the structure of the UK Foreign Exchange market over the past year have had a significant impact on recruitment and compensation trends of foreign exchange (FX) professionals. Factors such as regulatory change, onset of technological advancement, including blockchain data, and the increase in non-dealer market share have particularly affected the UK FX outlook, with and attendant shift in hiring requirements in the segment says Solomon Animashaun, chief operating officer, Barrington Hibbert Associates.

Market Savvy

BOJ May Add to Stimulus at March Meeting, Abe Adviser Says – Bloomberg

The Bank of Japan should act preemptively to change the deflationary mindset in Japan and this action could come as soon as March, said Etsuro Honda, an adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Emerging Currencies to Drop to Two-Week Low as Energy Shares Slide – Bloomberg Emerging-nation currencies dropped to their lowest level in two weeks and a gauge of energy shares halted three days of advances on lingering concern about a glut in the global supply of crude oil. South Korea’s won fell to a five-year low.

ECB’s Nowotny: Market Turbulence Driven by Emerging Markets – Reuters   European Central Bank Governing Council Member Ewald Nowotny said turbulence in financial markets in recent weeks has been largely driven by emerging markets, according to an interview published Wednesday on a Swiss financial website.

China is Not Out of Currency Intervention Options – MarketPulse China is in the midst of a high-wire balancing act over the yuan. The currency plunged against the dollar at the start of this year, fueling turmoil in markets around the world. But it has recently clawed back much of those losses, leaving investors guessing on where it’s headed next.

Press Releases

Bank of Canada Announces Future Changes to its Published Foreign Exchange Rate Data Bank of Canada today announced that, effective 1 March 2017, it will make a series of changes to the number, frequency and calculation methodology of its published foreign exchange (FX) rates.

Institutional Traders Ramping Up Dark Pool Scrutiny – Greenwich Associates   Institutional traders keep a wary eye on dark pools. Although dark pools’ share of total U.S. equity volume held steady at 14% from 2014 to 2015, the results of the Greenwich Associates 2015 Trade Desk Optimization Study suggest that institutional trading desks are approaching alternative trading systems with more caution and, at times, even skepticism.