Top Headlines

Yen Hits Multi-Month Highs as Risk-Off Mood Persists – Reuters

The yen hit five-month highs against the dollar, euro and sterling, as simmering geopolitical tensions checked risk appetite and put the safe-haven Japanese currency in favour.

Dollar at Five-Month Lows vs Yen on Rising Geopolitical Tensions – Reuters

The dollar languished at a five-month low versus the yen, as simmering geopolitical tensions checked risk appetite and put the safe-haven Japanese currency in favour.

Sterling Touches One-Week High Ahead of UK Labour Market Data – Reuters

Sterling rose to a week’s high against a broadly weaker dollar as investors awaited data on the UK’s labour market to further gauge the health of Britain’s economy as it leaves the European Union.

Investors Brace for Euro Wobbles from Upcoming French Election – Financial Times (subscription)

Currencies traders are bracing for a jolt of tumult that may stem from the French election, with implied volatility for the euro-dollar pair shooting to its highest level since before the June Brexit vote that shook global markets.

Renminbi Rate Gap Persists as Offshore Rate Stays Weaker – Financial Times (subscription)

The onshore renminbi remained stronger than the offshore renminbi, holding the two rates back in their traditional positions after months of the reverse.

US Unlikely to Tag China Currency Manipulator, Schwarzman Says – Bloomberg

A top outside adviser to President Donald Trump said the US probably won’t name China a currency manipulator in a report due this month, a move that would break a key campaign promise and another sign of capitulation on the administration’s tough trade talk.

Most Currencies Rise as Geopolitical Concerns Ease – Reuters

Most Asian currencies rose as investor concerns eased about simmering geopolitical tensions though caution towards risky assets prevailed in the market.

Goldman’s New Terms May as Well Say ‘F@*k You’ at the Top, Participant Says – FX Week (subscription)

Goldman Sachs sends clients updated terms-of-dealing document signalling asymmetric last look is alive and kicking.

Extreme Positioning in Options Markets Can Offer Trade Signals, Says Morgan Stanley – Bloomberg

Investors seeking winning strategies across asset classes might want to take a look at how traders are positioned in options markets to get an idea of what’s coming. 

Best Asian Currency Raises Questions on RBI’s Rupee Policy – Bloomberg

The rupee’s recent surge, uninterrupted by any strong central-bank intervention, has left traders and strategists asking one question: Has the Reserve Bank of India changed its stance on currency management?

Nigeria Central Bank Sells $100 Million to SMEs – Reuters

Nigeria’s central bank said it sold $100 million in spot sales to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) as part of a move to inject liquidity into the official market.

Regulatory News

London Bank Group Offers Plan for EU Market Access After Brexit – Bloomberg

The UK and the European Union should strike a deal that offers both sides access to each other’s markets and goes beyond the option of regulatory equivalence, according to an advisory group set up by bank lobbying bodies.

EU Market Supervisor Demands Tougher Powers After Brexit – Financial Times (subscription)

The EU’s top markets supervisor has warned that he needs tougher powers to police the risks created by asset managers and other investment firms relocating to the continent after Brexit.

Trump’s Message to Bankers: Wall Street Reform Rules May Be Eliminated – Reuters

In February, Trump issued an executive order requiring Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to consult with US regulators and submit a report outlining a proposal for possible regulatory and legislative changes that would help fuel economic growth and promote American business interests.

What’s New in Republicans’ Plan to Replace Dodd-Frank? – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Republican Jeb Hensarling unveils fresh details in summary of his Financial Choice Act.

ESMA Turns the Screw on Direct Electronic Access – Risk (subscription)

Guidance thwarts narrower definition adopted by Eurex to help third-country clients.

China’s Central Bank Quietly Increases Its Power in Battle to Curb Risks – Reuters

China’s central bank has been quietly boosting its policy independence and regulatory reach as it seeks to contain risks to the financial system, policy insiders said, to help ensure stability ahead of a five-yearly leadership team transition this year.

Company News

Flax Leaves BNP to Pursue FinTech Role – Profit & Loss

Catherine Flax has left her role as managing director, head of commodities, FX and local markets, Americas, at BNP Paribas.

Virtu Financial Holds Firm Over Bid for KCG Holdings – Financial Times (subscription)

High-frequency trading group decides against increasing initial offer for rival.

ICE Adds Reference Data on ICE Contracts to Apex Platform – Waters Technology (subscription)

The new reference data encompasses all ICE’s listed financial, index, single-stock, oil and power, agricultural, currency and metals contracts, among others.

MarketAxess’ Trax Closes in on MiFID II ARM Approval – The Trade

Trax will begin testing for transaction reporting under MiFID II with the FCA as of summer this year.

Hong Kong Plans Bigger Derivatives Role – FOW (subscription)

Charles Li has said he wants to establish his firm as “the global financial centre in derivatives for the Asian timezone” and to grow Hong Kong’s asset class.

Start-Up Targets Bloomberg Terminal Users with Free Service – The Trade

Communications platform launched by group of former traders is currently free to use and firm claims it is as good as Bloomberg’s Terminal.

Market Savvy

Asia Forex in Flux as Yen’s Haven Role Bolstered – Financial Times (subscription)

Forex markets in the Asia Pacific region heated up as investors sought safety in Japan’s yen, South Korea’s won weakened amid geopolitical tensions and the duelling exchange rates for China’s renminbi suggested renewed expectations of weakness.

LatAm Stocks, Currencies Down on Geopolitical Woes – Reuters

Latin American stocks and currencies fell as ballooning geopolitical concerns drove investors away from high-yielding assets.

C$ Unchanged as Risk Aversion Offsets Oil Rally – Reuters

The Canadian dollar closed unchanged against the greenback, failing to lock in a fresh one-week high as risk aversion offset higher oil prices in rangebound trading ahead of a Bank of Canada interest rate decision.