Top Headlines

Sterling Volatility Rockets after Poll Shows Brexit ‘Leave’ Lead – fastFT (subscription)

Implied volatility on sterling, a measure of expected stress, has rocketed to the highest level since February 2009 after a referendum poll published yesterday showed an abrupt swing in voter preference towards leaving the EU.

Australia GDP Beats, but Rate Cut Still on Cards – fastFT (subscription)

First quarter economic growth trumped expectations Down Under but analysts are still pencilling in an interest rate cut later this summer.

Japan PM Delaying Sales Tax Rise, Fiscal Reform on Back Burner – Reuters

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told lawmakers on Wednesday that he has decided to delay a scheduled sales tax hike by two-and-a-half years, putting his plans for fiscal reforms on the back burner amid more weakness in the economy.

Iran Plans June Oilfield Tenders for International Companies – Bloomberg

Iran plans to invite international companies to bid for oilfield development rights in June, a government official said, as the Persian Gulf country seeks to revive its energy industry after years of crippling sanctions.

Europe and US in Race to keep TTIP on Track – FT (subscription)

Washington and Brussels are scrambling to rebuild momentum for a landmark trade accord, amid signs that it is faltering under an increasingly bitter onslaught from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

World’s Longest and Deepest Rail Tunnel to Open in Switzerland – BBC

The world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel is to be officially opened in Switzerland, after almost two decades of construction work.

Donald Trump Lashes Out at Media While Detailing Gifts to Veterans – New York Times

He called a news conference ostensibly to answer questions about his fund-raising for charities that benefit military veterans. But Donald J. Trump instead spent most of his time on live television Tuesday berating the journalists covering his presidential campaign in unusually vitriolic and personal terms.

Regulatory News

Investment Banker and Plumber Charged With Insider Trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced insider trading charges against an investment banker and his close friend, a plumber who allegedly helped remodel his bathroom and put cash in his gym bag in return for illicit tips about upcoming mergers and acquisitions.

Lloyds Boss ‘Kept Silent on Rate-Rigging at Bank’ – The Times (subscription)

The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group has been accused of keeping silent on rate-rigging at the state-backed bank in a court claim that raises fresh questions about the City watchdog’s investigation into market abuse.

European Banking Supervision – Much Achieved, But Still Much To Do

Speech by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB and Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, Bundesbanksymposium “Dialogue on banking supervision”,

Nuns With Guns: The Strange Day-to-Day Struggles Between Bankers and Regulators – WSJ (subscription)

Lenders are awash in new regulations, and growing armies of rule enforcers are forcing striking changes on banks’ internal cultures

Company News

Thomson Reuters Eyes Gap in the Market with New FX Benchmark – Profit & Loss

As the European Central Bank (ECB) tries to discourage corporates from using its 2:15pm CET FX reference rate as a benchmark, Thomson Reuters has stepped in to provide a specifically designed benchmark for these firms.

Apple Plans to Sell $1 Billion of 30-year Bonds in Taiwan – Reuters

Apple Inc plans to issue bonds in Taiwan for the first time with the aim of raising $1 billion, sources familiar with the matter said, joining a queue of big global names that have sold billions of dollars on the island’s busy debt market.

Tata Steel Completes Sale of Scunthorpe Site to Greybull – Daily Telegraph

Tata Steel has completed the sale of its Long Products Europe business, including its Scunthorpe site, to Greybull Capital, saving 4,400 jobs in the UK.

Market Savvy

FX Liquidity: Living in a Fool’s Paradise? – Profit & Loss

As market participants continue to report a decline in FX market liquidity, many attribute this trend to a continued retrenchment of principal liquidity from the banks.

Mixed Fortunes in First Batch of Volumes – Profit & Loss

The first three platforms to publish May data offer a confused picture with Gain GTX and HotspotFX lower but FastMatch higher.

China’s Factories Steadying but Weak, Hopes for Quick Recovery Fade – Reuters

China’s manufacturing activity showed signs of steadying in May but remained weak amid soft demand at home and abroad, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy is still struggling to regain traction.

Swiss Growth Unexpectedly Slows on Weak Government Demand – Bloomberg

Switzerland’s economy barely grew in the first quarter as government spending fell for the first time in a year.