US and China Reach a Trade Agreement, But Some Key Details are Still Unclear – CNBC

After the US and China announced progress on a trade agreement, a critical point of the deal remains in question: agricultural purchases.

Johnson Eyes Parliament Vote Before Christmas to ‘Get Brexit Done’ – Reuters

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will “get Brexit done” by Jan. 31 and then agree on a new trade deal with the European Union by the end of 2020, cabinet office minister Michael Gove said on Sunday, vowing to deliver on the government’s top priority.

Is FX Still an Attractive Market to Trade? – Profit & Loss

One senior FX market figure accepts that subdued volatility has made FX less interesting for traders in recent years, but says that this state of affairs will not last forever.

Trump’s ‘America First’ Trade Vision Comes into Focus on Three Fronts – Wall Street Journal

President Trump claimed a multi-front victory last week in his bid to reshape US trade policy, extracting fresh commercial concessions from Mexico and China while stripping the World Trade Organization of its powers to restrain the tactics he used to secure them.

Head of Bundesbank Warns Against ‘Fetish’ of Balanced Federal Budget – Financial Times

The head of Germany’s central bank has added his weight to growing pressure for the country’s government to increase public investment and warned its commitment to a balanced federal budget should not become “a fetish”.

China’s Industrial Engine Beats Expectations in November – South China Morning Post

Industrial production, which measures China’s industrial output, including manufacturing, mining and utilities, grew by 6.2 per cent in November. Retail sales also performed better than expected, as the Chinese economy surprised on the upside in the last month before a trade deal was reached.

Fed’s Williams Says Central Bank Should Be Flexible as Data Evolves – Wall Street Journal

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams that the outlook for the US economy remains pretty good but central bankers will need to respond to unexpected events should they arise.

Chinese Premier Tells Lam to End Protests and Fix Underlying Social Problems – South China Morning Post

Premier Li Keqiang told Hong Kong’s embattled leader on Monday to investigate the city’s deep-rooted social problems and end the violence and chaos blighting its streets.

In the FICC of It – Profit & Loss

The detail behind the recent BIS FX Turnover Survey, the return of settlement risk to the regulatory agenda, the threat facing the primary FX venues and the latest from the crypto landscape all feature in this week’s podcast.

Regulatory News

New Bank of England Governor to be Picked from Shortlist in Days – Financial Times

Ministers are set to choose the next governor of the Bank of England in the coming days, in a move that should enable incumbent Mark Carney to leave the central bank on his scheduled departure date of January 31.

Compounded Rate Out of Favour, Finds Japan Survey – Risk

Users prefer forward-looking term rate to replace yen Libor, but dealers bemoan “lack of understanding”.

EU Plans No-Deal Brexit Relief for €735tn Derivatives Market – Financial News

Industry has an extra year to prepare contingency plans if the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

Battle Over Volcker’s Rule Outlives its Creator – Financial Times

Close to a decade after it was enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank reform law, regulators continue to tinker with the Volcker rule, amid claims it has been too complicated and that many of its aims have been achieved by other means.

Crypto News

ICE Completes First Bitcoin Options Trade – FOW

Intercontinental exchange has announced the first trade has been submitted to its US futures exchange as bitcoin futures volume falls.

Filibustering MP Wades into Debate on FCA’s Proposed Crypto Ban – Financial News

A politician known for frustrating legislation with drawn-out objections in the UK parliament wants to breathe new life into a debate about whether retail investors should be banned from putting money into complex crypto assets.

Bitmain Rival’s Founder Arrested as War of Crypto Miners Heats Up – Bloomberg

A Chinese chip designer who helped Bitmain Technologies Ltd. become the world’s largest maker of Bitcoin mining rigs before starting his own company has been arrested, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Even if a Thousand Projects Don’t Make It, Blockchain is Still a Change Catalyst – CoinDesk

Gartner, an IT research and consulting firm, came up with a framework to look at the stages of adoption and market enthusiasm of emerging technologies. Though criticized by some for being unscientific, the Gartner ‘Hype Cycle’ has caught on in popular culture. 

Company News

Repo Blame Game Moves Focus to Hedge Funds – Financial Times

The hunt for triggers of September’s funding market blow-up lands at new location.

World’s Biggest Hedge Fund Returns are Found in Tiny Singapore – Bloomberg

Vanda Global Fund, started with $24 million from friends and family and named after Singapore’s national orchid, is the world’s best-performing hedge fund this year, gaining more than 300%.

FX HedgePool: Move to Clearing May Be Irresistable – FX Week

Jay Moore says balance sheet pressures will redefine buy side credit relationships.

Market Savvy

Investors Grapple with Reality of Indefinite Monetary Support – Financial Times

One striking aspect of 2019 is that it marks the fastest pace of central bank easing since the financial crisis.

The Most Momentous Rate Decision This Month Isn’t at Fed or ECB – Bloomberg

The world’s oldest central bank stands to be the most significant this month as it pioneers a shift away from negative rates.

Two Heavy Clouds Over Global Economic Growth are Lifting – Financial Times

Wherever you look in financial markets this morning, the message from the sharp moves in prices is the same.

Fed’s Control Over Rates Tested by Growing US Budget Deficits – Wall Street Journal

Budget deficits that are projected to rise for years are straining the plumbing of the US financial system, making it harder for the Federal Reserve to manage the interest rates that influence how much consumers and businesses pay to borrow.