Top Headlines

Traders Eye ‘Bad Trade’ in Swiss Franc Flash Fall – Financial Times

The Swiss franc is the latest currency to have gone bump in the night.

How London Won the Race for the Renminbi – Financial Times

Rival centres in Asia and Europe have fallen away, as the UK pressed ahead with a charm offensive. The charm offensive has paid off, with daily orders averaging $73bn in October.

In the FICC of It (podcast) – Profit & Loss

In this week’s edition, the podcasters discuss cryptocurrencies and conspiracy theories, OTC platform volumes this month and the Global Code of Conduct.

Are the Days of Real Speed Over in FX Trading? (opinion) – Profit & Loss

I have always been someone who has, in FX trading at least, looked at certain firms’ desperation to shave another millisecond off round trip times with some despair and no little disdain.

Banks Struggle to Optimize Brokerage Spend – Markets Media

Heads of trading desks at the major financial institutions are spending hundreds of millions in brokerage fees every year, according to analytics and regtech firm Meritsoft.

Regulatory News

British and US Banks Are Deeply Divided on Brexit Ties – Bloomberg

With just seven weeks to go before Brexit, it’s not just UK politicians who are bitterly divided over the country’s withdrawal from the European Union — large banks are also at loggerheads.

The Trump-Xi Trade Truce Ends March 1. What Then? – Bloomberg

A failure by US and Chinese negotiators to reach an agreement by the March 1 deadlinee set by US President Donald Trump could raise the stakes in the global trade war. 

Broker Conflict Rule Proposal Assailed by Former SEC Economists – Bloomberg

The US Securities and Exchange Commission plan for overhauling broker conflict-of-interest rules is coming under fire from an unusual source: a group of its former top economists.

JP Morgan Boss Says Senior Manager Rules Mean All Bankers Can Speak Up – Financial News (subscription)

The chief executive of JPMorgan’s banking business in Europe has said rules that hold senior managers accountable for malpractice in the City have empowered bankers at all levels to speak up.

Crypto News

Niall Ferguson Joins Blockchain Project Ampleforth – Financial Times

Niall Ferguson, the rightwing British historian and who once called himself a “fully paid-up member of the neo-imperialist gang”, has joined Ampleforth’s advisory board. A bit late to the crypto party? Maybe. But this isn’t the first time Ferguson has dipped his toes into the world of crypto. 

Crypto Futures Platform ErisX Hires Execs From Barclays and YouTube – CoinDesk

ErisX, a digital assets trading platform, has recruited three top-level officers from major companies in the financial and tech industries.

ICE CEO Calls Bakkt a “Moonshot Bet” – The Block

During a call with equity analysts, CEO Jeffrey Sprecher outlined the firm’s performance in Q4 2018 and shed some light on the progress of its cryptocurrency project Bakkt. 

Ontario Securities Regulator Looking into Digital Platform Quadriga – Reuters

Canada’s biggest securities regulator said on Friday that it was looking into Quadriga CX, as concerns grow that a regulatory gap leaves investors in the digital platform unprotected against potential losses.

Crypto Bear Market Threatens to Last as Potential Token Supply Weighs – Reuters

Cryptocurrencies may be facing a prolonged bear market. Companies that issued tokens, or digital currencies, over the last two years through initial coin offerings (ICOs) may have to sell more of these assets to finance their operations. There’s just one problem: There are very few takers.

Company News

Former UBS Trader Fined by US Court for Spoofing – Profit & Loss

A US District Court in Connecticut has issued a Final Judgment and Consent Order against Andre Flotron, a former precious metals trader for UBS, requiring him to pay a $100,000 civil monetary penalty for spoofing and engaging in a deceptive or manipulative scheme.  

Refinitiv Reappointed as Malaysian Benchmark Agent – Profit & Loss

Refinitiv has been re-appointed by Bank Negara Malaysia as the calculating and distribution agent for the industry interest rate benchmark, Kuala Lumpur Interbank Offered Rate (Klibor).

LMAX Exchange Adds Credit Intermediation Solution – Profit & Loss

LMAX Exchange has announced the addition of a global credit intermediation solution for spot FX trading. 

Competition Comes to the Volatility Index Market – Profit & Loss

Miax Options has unveiled plans to launch volatility trading on the Spikes Index, thus, it says, “marking the end of exclusivity in the volatility market”.

Eurex Clearing Grows Swaps Market Share, Jan Vols Soar – Global Investor (subscription)

The Deutsche Boerse-owned clearing house grows market share of euro-denominated IRS to 11%.

HSBC’s Mark Tucker to Become Chair of TheCityUK Lobby Group – Financial Times

HSBC chairman Mark Tucker is poised to become chair of business lobby group TheCityUK at a pivotal time for Britain’s financial services industry ahead of the UK’s imminent departure from the EU.

Mizuho Expands CEEMEA Trading Operations – International Finance Review

Mizuho has added to its headcount in trading fixed income for central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, as the bank expands its reach.

Market Savvy

Sterling Drops after GDP Data Confirms Economic Slowdown – Reuters

Sterling extended its fall on Monday after data showed that Britain’s economy last year grew at its slowest since 2012, with Brexit uncertainty hitting investment.

Dollar Rises on Bleak Outlook for US-China Trade Talks – Reuters

The dollar rose on Monday as concerns grew that US-China talks this week would not heal a rift over trade between the world’s largest economies.

Norwegian Krone Knocked By Cooling Inflation – Financial Times

Norway’s currency fell on Monday for the seventh straight day to hit its lowest level in almost a month as inflation levels unexpectedly cooled.

Have Central Banks Lost Their Nerve? – Financial Times

Have central banks lost their nerve? It certainly looks like it.  Perhaps the highest-profile pullback last week came from the Bank of England, which used its quarterly Inflation Report to cut its economic growth forecast to the lowest point in 10 years.