Jens Weidmann, head of Germany's Bundesbank, said the European Central Bank must soon consider when to end its stimulus scheme, though it is appropriate for it to remain in place for now. This has been a source of ongoing debate for several months, with several bank officials saying an end should be timetabled and the ECB responding that there are no plans to do so.
US Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta says he has "found no principled legal basis" to delay the effective date of his department's fiduciary rule beyond June 9. "Respect for the rule of law leads us to the conclusion that this date cannot be postponed," he said.
London Stock Exchange Group CEO Xavier Rolet says any move to take euro clearing out of London could cost banks and investors using off-exchange interest-rate contracts €100 billion. "Strip out euro clearing and you lose these efficiencies, potentially increasing cumulative trading costs by €100 billion over five years," Rolet writes in an op-ed.
Brazil's equities and currency continued losing value Monday amid an intensifying corruption scandal involving business-friendly President Michel Temer. The Bovespa stock index fell 2% and Brazil's currency, the real, declined 0.9%.
The Utilities SPDR (XLU) is clearly one of the leading sectors in 2017 because it is trading at its highest level of the year. XLU, by the way, is the only sector SPDR that hit a year-to-date high Monday. The chart shows XLU correcting into November 2016, breaking out in December and then consolidating from mid-March to mid-May. This consolidation just ended with an upside breakout and the breakout signals a continuation of the bigger uptrend.
-- Arthur Hill, CMT
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has joined the Securities and Exchange Commission in creating provisions to protect whistleblowers from employer retaliation. Specifically the rules prohibit companies from forcing employees to sign confidentiality agreements or gag orders prohibiting them from speaking with CFTC officials and allow the agency to take civil anti-retaliation action against firms.
France's new finance minister says Brexit brings the opportunity for the euro area to move the hub for clearing euro-denominated derivatives out of London and into the eurozone. The European Central Bank tried to make this move in 2011, but the European Court of Justice blocked that attempt.
Eurozone finance ministers said they are confident of reaching a final agreement on debt relief for Greece in June and promptly releasing bailout funds the country needs to make bond payments due in July. The ministers made "huge progress" at a meeting Monday with the International Monetary Fund and Greek officials, but there are a few additional measures Greece needs to implement, said Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
London Stock Exchange Group says more tier one buy- and sell-side firms are signing up for its TRADEcho reporting tool in preparation of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive's transparency rules, which take effect next year. Operated jointly with Boat Services, TRADEcho is said to be the only service that enables buy- and sell-side counterparties to publish a trade and route it through a single approved publication arrangement.
Michel Barnier has been formally appointed as the EU's lead negotiator on the Brexit negotiations, which are due to start next month. Barnier, an experienced French public official, has stressed his aim to move the talks along swiftly and efficiently, and that the possibility of them ending without a deal in place is not an option.
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