Top Headlines

Regulators Give Fresh Sign They’ll Go Easy on MiFID Rules – Bloomberg

Regulators will grant financial firms a six-month delay in implementing part of the sweeping MiFID II overhaul of rules that’s set to take effect on January 3, as both companies and countries struggle to meet the deadline. 

Dollar Firms vs Yen as BOJ’s Kuroda in No Hurry to Tap Policy Brakes – Reuters

The dollar edged higher against the yen, after comments by Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reinforced expectations that the BOJ was in no hurry to move away from its ultra-loose monetary policy.

Dollar Bulls Harder to Find as 2018 Nears – Financial Times (subscription)

At the end of a year in which it was hard for investors not to make money, spare a thought for the dollar bulls bidding good riddance to 2017 and a trade that went so wrong.

Sterling Steadies After British Cabinet Weakened by Latest Exit – Reuters

Sterling traded flat in a quiet market after falling initially following a survey that showed consumer sentiment had fallen to a four-year low and news that Britain’s deputy prime minister had been forced to resign.

Krona Losing Appeal as ‘Carry Trade’ Currency – Financial Times (subscription)

Swiss franc and Japanese yen look better options among negative yielders.

European Banks’ Post-Crisis Litigation Could Cost $100 Billion – Bloomberg

A decade after the financial crisis, European banks’ bill for past misconduct could exceed $100 billion globally, with several lenders still facing cases potentially costing billions of dollars to settle.

Risky Plan to Keep London as Europe’s Financial Hub – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Bank of England offers olive branch to European regulators, but can’t be sure its goodwill will be returned.

A Million-Dollar Bet That Bitcoin Will Hit $50,000 – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Someone out there just made a bet that bitcoin will surge above $50,000 next year, trading data shows – about triple its current price.

Everything You Need to Know About Global Markets in 2018 – Bloomberg

Get ready for EM elections, bitcoin surprises and a new Fed.

The Irrational Award for “Statement of the Year” – Profit & Loss (subscription)

There can be only one winner of this Irrational for a statement so outrageous that even today, months after it was made, it still staggers me and, if I am being honest, appals me.

Regulatory News

European Commission Warns on Bitcoin Risks – Reuters

The European Commission warned of risks for investors and consumers from the virtual currency bitcoin, including the chances of losing their entire investment.

US Regulator Plays Down Bitcoin Fears, Backs Fintech Charter – Reuters

A US banking regulator said that bitcoin does not currently pose a threat to the country’s banking system and that there is “space” for innovative financial technology firms to operate in the traditional lending business.

BoE’s Carney Sees Problems with Central-Bank Issued Cryptocurrencies – Reuters

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney sees “fundamental problems” with the idea of a digital currency issued by a central bank that could be used by the general public. 

North-South Divide: Basel Makes Nordic and Dutch Banks Bristle – Risk (subscription)

Lobbyists confident EU policymakers can be persuaded to implement softer credit risk rules.

Company News

Ex-Goldman Bankers Launch Crypto Fund for Rich US Investors – Financial Times (subscription)

Three former Goldman Sachs employees are launching a fund tracking cryptocurrencies, claiming to be the first to offer wealthy US investors secure, passive exposure to 20 of the hottest coins.

E*Trade Lets Customers Trade in Cboe Bitcoin Futures – Reuters

The online brokerage firm E*Trade Financial will allow customers to trade bitcoin futures from Cboe Global Markets, the company said on its website, joining its rivals in opening the door for more mainstream adoption of the cryptocurrency.

Coinbase Probes Possible Insider Trading After Sharp Rise in Bitcoin Cash – Reuters

Major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said it will investigate accusations of insider trading, following a sharp increase in the price of bitcoin cash hours before it announced support for the virtual currency.

Market Savvy

Hong Kong Dollar Weakens to Near Two-Year Low – Financial Times (subscription)

The Hong Kong dollar fell to its weakest level against the dollar in almost two years amid seasonal demand for dollars and after the city’s de facto central bank said it would not issue additional exchange fund bills to mop up liquidity.

EM Asia FX: Most Gain; Indonesian Rupiah Hits Two-Week High After Fitch Upgrade – Reuters

Most Asian currencies edged higher against the dollar, with the rupiah leading the gainers in the region and touching a two-week high after Fitch upgraded Indonesia’s credit rating.

New Zealand Dollar Steadies but Economy Seen Slowing for Third-quarter – Pound Sterling Live

The New Zealand dollar gained over its lower-yielding rivals and slipped lower against the dollar bloc, as markets positioned for the release of the third-quarter GDP and responded to the latest swings in commodity prices.