Top Headlines

UK Pound Climbs Above $1.40 as Brexit Mood Improves – Financial Times (subscription)

The pound has returned to the psychological level of $1.40, securing its return to levels it traded in the run-up to the Brexit vote and establishing the UK currency as one of the strongest performers so far in 2018.

Dollar Bounces Amid Brewing Trade Policy Worries – Reuters

The dollar edged higher as some investors judged that its recent decline to a three-year low may be coming to a close amid growing concern over the US stance on global trade.

Secret to Dollar’s Dim Future Found in Fed’s Last Hiking Cycle – Bloomberg

Traders wagering on a dollar revival as the Federal Reserve continues raising interest rates need only look back to America’s most recent tightening cycle to see just how wrong those bets could go.

UK’s Prudential Was Mystery Victim of HSBC’s Front-Running – Bloomberg

HSBC Holdings and the US Justice Department, announcing last week that the bank would pay $100 million for front-running client currency orders, left one thing unstated – the name of a big client the bank’s traders defrauded.

Lloyds Is Planning to Place Traders in a Glass Box to Comply with New Rules – Bloomberg

About 120 staff at the Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets division, which includes foreign exchange and rates, will be put in the partitioned rooms to be finished over the next three to four weeks, said the people who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

UK Shelves Financial Services Brexit Position Paper – Financial Times (subscription)

Theresa May has been accused of leaving the City of London “in the dark” after the government admitted a long-expected paper setting out its trade goals for financial services after Brexit may never be published.

Best Execution Tops List of Daily Challenges: JP Morgan Survey – FX Week (subscription)

The bank questioned more than 400 institutional investors, primarily foreign exchange traders, about e-trading trends for 2018 in fixed-income and commodities markets.

More Than 10 Percent of $3.7 Billion Raised in ICOs Has Been Stolen: Ernst & Young – Reuters

The professional services firm analyzed more than 372 ICOs, in which new digital currencies are distributed to buyers, and found that roughly $400 million of the total $3.7 billion funds raised to date had been stolen, according to research.

Regulatory News

Trump Team Keeps Approach to Global Financial Rules, for Now – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

With continued engagement may come efforts to rein in rule-making bodies that some officials say have overstepped their mandate.

Mifid Costs Data Leaves Swaps Users in the Dark – Risk (subscription)

Dealer charges can’t be compared, critics complain; banks already bracing for review.

What’s in a Blockchain Name? SEC Demands More Than Investor Bait – Bloomberg

Companies looking to ride the cryptocurrency wave are drawing a stern warning from the top US securities regulator: You better do more than change your name.

South Korea to Ban Cryptocurrency Traders from Using Anonymous Bank Accounts – Reuters

South Korea will ban the use of anonymous bank accounts in cryptocurrency trading from January 30, regulators said in a widely telegraphed move designed to stop virtual coins from being used for money laundering and other crimes.

Nobel Winner Warns Central Bank Cryptos Would Court Catastrophe – Bloomberg

Could a central bank solve cryptocurrency woes by issuing a “safe” version of its own? Not so fast, says Bengt Holmstrom, a 2016 recipient of the Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Company News

BNY Mellon to Launch FXPB Service – Profit & Loss

BNY Mellon is launching an FX prime brokerage service for its institutional clients.

Banking Group Nordea Bans Bitcoin Trading – Reuters

Nordea has forbidden all its roughly 31,000 employees from trading in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin due to high risks, it said.

Japan Bitcoin Bourse Group Stages Europe Expansion – Financial Times (subscription)

BitFlyer, the Tokyo-based operator of one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges, is expanding into Europe after receiving regulatory approval, as the infrastructure that supports cryptocurrency trading continues to grow off the back of the recent boom.

Market Savvy

Most Asian Currencies Climb as Dollar Hovers Near Three-Year Low – Reuters

Most emerging Asian currencies rose as the dollar remained near a three-year low, after trimming some of its losses on a deal that was struck by the US senators to end the government shutdown. 

No Stealth Taper from Bank of Japan: Kuroda – Financial Times (subscription)

The yen weakened to trade below ¥111 against the dollar following Mr Kuroda’s remarks.

The Surprising Peso Rally Probably Can’t Last Much Longer – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The Mexican peso has been one of the market’s best performing currencies this year. Some investors believe that’s made it an even riskier bet.