Top Headlines

Pound Jumps After UK Retail Sales Trounce Forecasts – Financial Times (subscription)

The pound has popped higher (+0.34 per cent on the day at $1.2525) after new data from the Office for National Statistics suggested the UK consumer can’t be beaten quite as easily as some have feared.

Dollar Steadies as Eyes Shift to US Healthcare Vote – Reuters

The dollar held under $1.08 per euro for a second day as investors awaited a vote on Republican healthcare plans seen as a litmus test of President Donald Trump’s ability to legislate in Congress.

Investors Are Turning Bearish on the Dollar – Bloomberg

The currency slid to the lowest since November, and options show investors are becoming more pessimistic on the greenback versus the euro and yen.

Euro Adds to Robust Gains in March – Financial Times (subscription)

The euro came close to its highest level against the dollar in almost four months, as investors waited nervously ahead of Donald Trump’s first key legislative test over the repeal of Obamacare.

France’s Le Pen Calls for End to ‘Francafrique’ Relations, CFA Franc Currency – Reuters

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged to break with her country’s decades-old relationship with Africa known as “Francafrique” and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies.

Rising Yen Bucks Fundamentals, Gives Japan a Diplomatic Breather – Reuters

The Japanese yen’s recent rise against the dollar has defied conventional market wisdom, but a stronger currency may actually support Japan as it confronts the Trump administration on matters of trade and foreign exchange.

Emerging Market Currencies Prosper as US Dollar Falters – Financial Times (subscription)

Markets now and again behave in ways least expected, none more so than the resilience of emerging market currencies against the US dollar.

Analysts Eye April for Break in Czech Currency Limit – Financial Times (subscription)

But with reserves building at a blistering pace and inflation picking up fast, the case for dumping the limit before the mid-year guidance is growing more credible.

Jail Time for Singapore Spoofer – Profit & Loss

A Singapore man has been sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment for spoofing contracts for difference (CFD) markets in the city state.

New Zealand Dollar Softer After RBNZ Stands Pat on Rates – Financial Times (subscription)

The New Zealand dollar has lost steam in morning trading as investors come to terms with the prospect of the country’s central bank refraining from interest rate rises this year.

UBS to Charge Private Clients for Large Euro Deposits – Financial Times (subscription)

Swiss bank UBS is set to become the latest bank to start charging wealthy private clients for some euro deposits, in the latest sign of the strain low benchmark interest rates are imposing on the financial services industry.

The Real Problem in FX Today – Profit & Loss (subscription)

It’s not the deteriorating market conditions – it’s the sense of entitlement.

EU to Formally Veto Merger Shortly – Reuters

The European Commission will shortly veto a proposed merger between Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange, four sources close to the matter said, scuppering plans to create Europe’s biggest exchange.

Mexico Emerges as Most Alluring Emerging Market, India Worst – Bloomberg

Mexico is the most attractive emerging market for investors, based on a range of metrics analyzed by Bloomberg including growth, yields and equity valuations. India is the worst. 

Why Nobody Trusts the World’s Best Currency – Bloomberg

Even after a rally that’s made the manat the world’s best performer since the start of February, Azerbaijan’s Main Street isn’t convinced.

Regulatory News

Trump’s SEC Pick, a Lawyer for Goldman, to Face Scepticism – AP News

Goldman Sachs may be about to get another friend in Washington.

No Rollback on Dodd-Frank Because It Works – Reuters

The top Democrat on the US Senate Banking Committee told bankers gathered in Washington that his party would not support drastic changes to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

EU Financial Services Chief Warns Against Clashes Over Post-Brexit Hub – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The European Union’s financial-services chief expressed concern that fights are breaking out among authorities as they seek to lure financial businesses away from London following the UK’s decision to leave the bloc.

SEC Derivatives Rule on the Chopping Block – Risk (subscription)

Exposure cap for mutual funds likely to be scrapped, but segregation proposals may survive.

Belgium Told to Get Off the Fence, Stop Blocking FTT – Euractiv

EU finance ministers have presented a compromise text for the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) and urged Slovakia and Belgium, which is accused of deliberately blocking negotiations, to ratify it.

Taiwan Central Bank Chief Says Keeps Lines Open with US on Treasury Forex Report – Reuters

Taiwan’s central bank talks to its counterpart in the United States about foreign exchange issues, including information regarding a key report the US Treasury issues, central bank chief Perng Fai-nan said.

Company News

UK Exporters in ‘Sweet Spot’ Before Brexit, May Not Last: BoE’s Broadbent – Reuters

British exporters, who have been boosted by sterling’s fall but are still able to trade as before the Brexit vote, are in a “sweet spot” that is unlikely to last indefinitely, a top Bank of England official said.

JPMorgan Chase Climbs Up the Prime Brokerage Rankings – Financial Times (subscription)

JPMorgan Chase is moving up the prime brokerage market, beating Goldman Sachs for second place in the rankings of banking advisers to hedge funds.

Amundi Live on CDSClear – Profit & Loss

Clearing house LCH has announced that its first European buy-side client is now live on CDSClear with Amundi now clearing credit default swaps (CDS) at via its clearing broker BNP Paribas.

Bats Exchange Objects to SEC’s Denial of Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

An exchange that would have listed the first exchange-traded fund to track the price of the digital currency bitcoin is formally objecting to a regulatory decision rejecting the idea.

AtlasFX Adds Transaction Exception Analyser – Profit & Loss

Risk management solution provider AtlasFX has added the Transaction Exception Analyser to its cloud-based FX risk and analytics engine.

Market Savvy 

Asian Markets Advance Cautiously After Mid-Week Dip – Financial Times (subscription)

Asian markets were in a more subdued mood and making a tentative recovery from a mid-week sell-off that saw many global stock markets suffer their worst session since the US presidential election. 

C$ Stronger as Government Releases Stay-the-Course Budget – Reuters

The Canadian dollar strengthened slightly against its US counterpart, but barely changed after the government unveiled a stay-the-course federal budget that targeted export growth, while earlier losses were reversed as the greenback fell.

Nigeria’s Naira Hits Six-Month High on the Black Market – Financial Times (subscription)

The naira reached a six-month high of 400 per dollar on the black market, narrowing the gap between the exchange rates there and in the official market.