Top Headlines

Swiss National Bank Abandons Currency Ceiling – Financial Times(subscription)
Switzerland’s central bank is discontinuing its currency “ceiling” of CHF 1.2 per euro, introduced in the middle of the eurozone crisis, and has significantly lowered interest rates to -0.75%.

Forex Probe Finds New Signs of Potential Wrongdoing – Wall Street Journal(subscription)
Banks and traders that figured the worst was over in the foreign exchange scandal are facing an unpleasant surprise. Investigations into attempted manipulation of the vast currencies markets have uncovered new signs of potential wrongdoing, sparking a fresh round of firings by Wall Street banks and snaring new financial institutions.

JP Morgan Currency Trader Said to Be Suspended for Actions at RBS –Bloomberg
JP Morgan (JPM) has suspended a foreign exchange trader over allegations of wrongdoing related to his work at Royal Bank of Scotland Group, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

JP Morgan Reports Nearly $1 Billion in Quarterly Legal Expenses – Wall Street Journal (subscription)
JP Morgan Chase reported legal expenses of $990 million in the fourth quarter as it continues to face pressure from regulators and law-enforcement officials on another expected foreign exchange related settlement this year.

FXPA Announces Deadline for Founders’ Council Memberships – Profit & Loss(subscription)
The Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA) has announced that the deadline for joining the group as a founding member will be 1 February.

The Floodgates of FX Litigation Open – Euromoney
JP Morgan’s $100 million settlement of a currency manipulation lawsuit has sparked a flood of interest from potential new claimants, and marks a new victory in their fight for compensation, according to a leading lawyer involved in negotiations.

China’s Yuan Shifts into Currency Major League – Reuters
After a surge in interest last year, China’s yuan is heading for the currency major league, with trading volumes more comparable to the euro, sterling, Australian dollar and Swiss franc than its emerging market peers.

Evolution of FX Trading: Models Converge and Competition Heats Up – eForex
The market for foreign exchange is the largest and most liquid financial market. The FX market plays an important role in facilitating global trade and enabling cross-border payments, along with being an asset class that is widely used for hedging and carrying out speculative trades.

Deflation Risk Renders Koruna’s Euro Cap Irrelevant – Bloomberg
Currency traders are taking aim at the Czech Republic amid speculation that policy makers will have little choice but to weaken the koruna as it seeks to avert deflation.

Regulatory News

Blog: SEFs 2015 Outlook: Industry Sees More Flexible Execution Rules; Harmonisation – Reuters
Regulatory efforts to simplify existing swap mandate rules in order to reduce fragmentation between the US and Europe are likely to dominate the focus of participants in the swaps execution facility (SEF) market in 2015.

Minister Says Foreign Exchange Control Counter-Productive in Russia – ITAR-TASS
Any foreign exchange controls are counter-productive in Russia, Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said on Wednesday.

Company News

EBS and SGX Join Forces to Boost Asian FX – Profit & Loss (subscription)
EBS, Icap’s electronic FX business, is entering into a strategic partnership with Singapore Exchange (SGX) in a move intended to expand the existing product offering of both venues.

BofA Said to Oust 150 Hedge Fund Clients Under New Rules – Bloomberg
Bank of America cut ties with about 150 hedge funds last year in its prime brokerage group because new regulatory requirements designed to make the financial system safer are forcing lenders to reduce costs.

Blackwater Forms JV for New FX Strategy – CTA Intelligence
Blackwater Capital Management has announced a joint venture with Toronto-based Prudent Trading Systems (PTS) to launch a new FX strategy.

Technical Error Halts Derivatives Trading on Moscow Exchange – Profit & Loss(subscription)
The Moscow Exchange was forced to suspend trading on its derivatives platform on 12 January after it experienced a technical fault.

FXCM Volumes Shine in December Maintaining $20 Billion Plus Retail ADV –Forex Magnates
Listed currency broker, FXCM, saw positive trading volumes during the month of December. Overall retail forex volumes were in the green on a monthly and yearly basis, with a slight dip in monthly institutional volumes.

Market Savvy  

SNB Shocks Markets, Removes Floor
In a shocking move that will be talked about and examined for many days, months and years to come, the SNB came out earlier and announced the abolishment of its 1.2000 EURCHF floor, resulting in some record breaking FX moves. Instead, the SNB has ventured further into negative interest rate programme (NIRP), lowering the three-month Libor target 50bps to -0.75%.

Press Releases

Cinnober Selected to Receive EU Funding for Disruptive Client Clearing Technology
The European Commission recognises need for real-time risk margining, multi-asset client clearing solution for the banking sector.

CME Group Launches the ‘Futures Institute’ to Help Develop Traders in the Futures Markets
CME Group has launched the Futures Institute, an innovative new online platform for futures and options on futures education, trading simulation and market research.

Industry Events