Top Headlines

Sterling Drops on Weak UK Retail Sales Under Brexit Shadow – Reuters

Sterling sank to a 10-day low against the euro after a surprise third monthly fall running in British retail sales pointed to weakening consumer sentiment as the government gets ready to launch talks on leaving the European Union.

Pound Volatility at 13-Month Low as Brexit Tensions Ease – Financial Times (subscription)

It’s fair to say the pound has had a bumpy ride since last June’s vote to leave the EU, but with traders now left waiting for Article 50 to be triggered, a level of calm has finally descended on the currency, with one measure of volatility hitting its lowest level since well before the referendum.

Dollar’s Downward Momentum Eases as Oil Prices Steady – Financial Times (subscription)

Market volatility dissipated in Asia trade on Friday morning as the dollar’s downward momentum eased and oil prices inched higher after recovering from a sudden drop the evening prior.

Wall Street’s Trading Revival Risks Relapse as Volatility Ebbs – Bloomberg

Perhaps the one corner that’s still going strong for Wall Street banks is currencies, where volatility has held up.

Offshore Renminbi Weakens Past Onshore Rate – Financial Times (subscription)

For two brief periods in the late US and early Asian trading day, the offshore renminbi traded at a weaker rate than its onshore counterpart against the dollar in what would have been a reversion to type – as well as a signal that weakening was back on the agenda.

China Jan FX Sales Slow on Stronger Yuan, Tighter Capital Controls – Reuters

China’s central bank sold the least amount of foreign exchange in five months in January, reinforcing views that capital outflows have eased as policymakers step up scrutiny of cross-border flows and as the yuan steadies.

Russian Economy Minister Says Discussed Rouble with Putin – Reuters

Russia’s Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin said he had discussed a recent sharp strengthening of the rouble currency with President Vladimir Putin, TASS news agency reported.

Stun Grenades Just a Hiccup for Rand That’s Seen Darker Days – Bloomberg

Investors are developing thick skins to political risk in South Africa.

Economic Reforms Boost Appetite for the Egyptian Pound – Financial Times (subscription)

Reforms and remittances help boost confidence and economy.

Could Last Look Execution in FX Be Banned? – Finance Feeds

Not a chance. FCA wants to, but has no power and no remit.

FX Mobile Trading Devices Go Through Growing Pains – Euromoney

Although use of mobile devices to place FX orders is growing steadily among retail traders, demand from sell-side institutional traders has stalled because of compliance and functionality restrictions.

Regulatory News

Hunting for Dirty Deeds in the $34 Trillion US Futures Market – Bloomberg

A market watchdog has more info than it can afford to sort through.

EU Financial-Transaction Tax Said to Hit Roadblock Over Pensions – Bloomberg

The 10 European Union countries exploring a financial-transaction tax are struggling to agree on key parts of the plan, casting new doubt on the future of the project, two people familiar with the talks said.

Clearing Houses Saddled With ‘Too-Big-To-Fail’ Tag – Financial Times (subscription)

Institutions designed to provide stability have become the system’s linchpins.

The Acting SEC Chair Is Using His Temporary Powers – Bloomberg

Michael Piwowar gets to work while keeping the seat warm for Jay Clayton.

US Court to Rehear Challenge to SEC Judges – Reuters

A US appeals court said it would rehear a challenge to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s use of in-house judges.

Will Regulation Threaten the Growth of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies? – Financial Director

The rise of cryptocurrencies has not gone unnoticed by national governments and regulators with many actively looking at their regulations and taxation structures.

Company News

CBOE, Bats Sets Feb 28 to Complete Merger – FOW (subscription)

CBOE and Bats Global Markets said they plan to complete their merger on February 28, just five months after the US exchange groups announced their merger.

ICBC Adopts FXall, Electronic Trading – Profit & Loss

After being the first Chinese bank to stream spot CNH prices during the Asian time zone, ICBC (Asia) is now the first Chinese bank to initiate a 24-hour price stream on Thomson Reuters’ FXall platform via Electronic Trading.

EBS BrokerTec Opts for Nasdaq’s Surveillance Tech – The Trade

EBS BrokerTec has chosen Nasdaq’s SMARTS surveillance technology for its US treasuries, FX and repo markets.

Market Savvy

South African Rand Surges as the Carry Trade Returns with a Vengeance – Pound Sterling Live

The pound to rand exchange rate has this week fallen to its lowest levels since October 2013 having recorded a conversion of 16.0685 in mid-week trade.

Mexican Peso, Brazilian Real Weaken; LatAm Stocks Mixed – Reuters

The Brazilian real and the Mexican peso fell as investors awaited additional details of US President Donald Trump’s fiscal policies.

Stocks, Currencies Cool Off After Balmy Week – Reuters

Emerging market stocks took a breather, easing back after what was set to be a seventh week of gains in the last eight and also a bumper one for many of the major EM currencies.