Top Headlines

Two Market Giants Tried to Create a $75 Billion Mega-Exchange – Bloomberg

The world’s biggest exchanges are still looking for deals even though the merger of Deutsche Boerse and London Stock Exchange Group was scuttled by European regulators.

French Markets, Euro Gain After TV Debate – Reuters

The euro hit a day’s high and France’s stock market surged as investors closed out bets on rising French political risk, citing centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron’s solid performance in a televised presidential election debate.

Dollar Remains Stronger After Fed Decision – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The US dollar extended gains after the Federal Reserve indicated it remains on track to raise interest rates this year despite recent weak economic data.

Strong Services Data Gives Sterling a Lift – Reuters

Sterling gained against the dollar, with stronger-than-expected data out of Britain’s dominant services sector seen bolstering the case for interest rate hikes from the Bank of England coming sooner rather than later.

Platforms Report Lower Volumes – Profit & Loss

Three platforms to report FX trading volume for April are showing month-on-month declines.

Russia FinMin to Cut FX Purchases More Than Eightfold in May – Reuters

Russia’s finance ministry said it would cut its purchases of foreign currency on the domestic market by more than eightfold in May but said it could step up the purchases in future.

Survey: Oil to Drive Ruble Price in 2017 – Profit & Loss

The biggest issue facing the Russian ruble in 2017 is the price of oil, according to a Bloomberg survey of FX executives.

Game of Thrones Crowns Iceland Krona as World’s Best Currency – Bloomberg

Iceland’s interest-rate cuts should have slowed gains in its currency. Instead, the krona is now a world-beater.

Exploring Correlations Between the Yen and Nikkei – Profit & Loss

SGX has released an article looking at whether the long-standing assumption that the Japanese yen is inversely correlated with Japanese equity indices, and what this means against the current geopolitical outlook.

Brexit Raises Fragmentation Risk – Markets Media

Eric Müller, chief executive of Eurex Clearing, Deutsche Börse’s central counterparty said the key global trend on his radar is the uncertainty from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union as the trading bloc looks set to try to retain control of euro clearing.

Bitcoin Soars Above $1,400 to All-Time High – Reuters

Bitcoin surged to an all-time high above $1,400, after more than tripling in value over the past year, with its most recent rise attributed to strong demand in Japan, where the digital currency has been deemed a legal means of payment.

Regulatory News

SEC, CFTC Budgets Frozen by Congressional Deal; CFPB Escapes Overhaul – MLex FS Core (subscription)

A congressional funding deal freezes the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s 2017 budgets while rescinding $25 million from an SEC fund for outmoded computers.

Treasury’s Mnuchin Focused on ‘Quick’ Changes to Dodd-Frank Banking Rules – The Street

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says a report on the impact of Dodd-Frank banking regulations will emphasize improvements that can be made ‘relatively quickly,’ some through policy shifts and executive orders.

JPMorgan Calls for Tougher Clearing House Rules – Financial Times (subscription)

Global regulators should toughen standards to prevent the failure of a clearing house by raising financial buffers for risk managers and limiting the losses they can pass on to customers, JPMorgan Chase has argued. 

Foreign Banks in UK to Follow New Rules on Whistleblowers – Financial Times (subscription)

FCA pushes ahead with new regulations to try to clean up the City after scandals.

Ex-SEC Accountant to Settle Charges Over Illegal Options Trades: Sources – Reuters

A former accountant at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to settle criminal and civil charges, after he was caught illegally trading options while working at the agency, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Company News

EBS BrokerTec Re-Brands as Nex Markets – Profit & Loss

NEX Group (Nex) has announced that its EBS BrokerTec business has been renamed Nex Markets, effective immediately.

Standard Chartered Picks Frankfurt for Its New EU Hub on Brexit – Bloomberg

Standard Chartered has chosen Frankfurt for its main base inside the European Union as it prepares for the UK to lose easy access to the single market after Britain exits the trading bloc, the bank’s chairman said.

ICE Sees Trading and Clearing Decline in First Quarter – The Trade

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) saw revenues in its trading and clearing business decrease in the first quarter this year, as group profits were largely driven by data services.

DTCC Repo Clearing Gains Regulatory Approval – The Trade

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has gained regulatory approval to expand its fixed income clearing service into repo markets.

Opportunities for CME in Market Data, Says RBC Analyst – Financial News

There are “substantial” opportunities for CME Group’s market data business, according to a well-known analyst, despite an unexpected drop in revenues in the first three months of the year.

Dexia Faces Fraud Charges Over ‘Hidden Costs’ in Swaps Deal – Risk (subscription)

Italian fraud trial could spell trouble for other banks providing municipal swaps contracts.

Retail Brokers Hike Margins Ahead of French Election – FX Week (subscription)

IG Group, FXCM and Saxo take first steps to reduce risk for clients, while others will take action later this week.

Market Savvy

Australian Dollar Hits Four-Month Low as Commodity Prices Sink – Financial Times (subscription)

The Australian dollar sank to its lowest level in four months as commodity prices sank and the Federal Reserve looked set to raise interest rates at its June meeting.

Currencies Ease After Fed, Czech Central Bank Seen Holding Fire – Reuters

Central European currencies eased slightly after hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve and ahead of a likely decision by the Czech central bank to keep interest rates on hold.

Hawkish Fed, Lower Commodities Weigh on Emerging Stocks, FX – Reuters

Hawkish tones from the US Federal Reserve, easing commodity prices and lacklustre Chinese data weighed on emerging market assets with stocks extending losses for a second day and currencies weakening.