Financial Markets
Top stories summarized by our editors
5/18/2018

JPMorgan Chase is exploring use of cryptocurrencies in corporate and investment banking and has appointed Oliver Harris to head the strategy, sources say. Co-President Daniel Pinto says the bank sees cryptocurrencies as real, "but not in the current form".

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JPMorgan, Daniel Pinto
5/18/2018

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with other EU officials, say they expect a temporary exemption from steel and aluminium tariffs US President Donald Trump has given the EU to be permanent. Post-Brexit UK won't have the same "defensive heft" as pre-Brexit UK does, and while no one knows the trade opportunities Brexit will bring, there is a "greater potential vulnerability for the UK", Ben Chu writes.

5/18/2018

Data indicate China's economy might be headed toward a slowdown, as retail, property and fixed-asset investment growth falls and as US trade tensions remain, analysts say. Housing-market strength is likely to drop, infrastructure spending will be negatively affected by risk controls on local government debt and external trade uncertainty raises worries for exports, AXA Investment Managers economist Aidan Yao says.

5/18/2018

China has offered trade concessions to President Donald Trump, aiming to reduce the US trade deficit with China by as much as $200 billion annually, sources say. The package reportedly might include elimination of Chinese tariffs on a range of US products and could particularly benefit US plane manufacturer Boeing.

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Reuters
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President Donald Trump, Boeing
5/18/2018

Russian state-owned bank Sberbank has completed a bond purchase from telecommunication provider MTS using blockchain technology, the country's first such transaction. A proprietary system operated by National Settlement Depository processed the trade, which "confirmed blockchain's status as an efficient industrial technology providing confidentiality and speed during securities settlement", NSD Chairman Eddi Astanin says.

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Investopedia
5/18/2018

EU financial-services chief Valdis Dombrovskis has told lawmakers millions of cross-border financial contracts could be disrupted upon Brexit because a proposed transition period through 2020 won't be finalized until at least October. "I would be somewhat hesitant to give guarantees because negotiations are still ongoing and the outcome is still not 100% clear," Dombrovskis said.

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Reuters
5/18/2018

National Stock Exchange of India has received a US Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulatory deference from registering as a futures commission merchant, while letting NSE members trade futures and options contracts with US clients. "The relief is based on the finding by the CFTC that the local laws and regulations in India applicable to NSE members provide a comparable level of customer protection, including licensing standards, minimum financial requirements and robust compliance programs," according to the NSE.

5/18/2018

Intercontinental Exchange plans to add 28 energy futures contracts Monday that cover oil, the Dutch gas market and the Indonesian coal market. ICE Futures US will handle 14 contracts, and ICE Futures Europe will handle the other 14.

5/18/2018

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have found a way to retain capital gains on offshore derivatives instruments by shifting Indian participatory-note business to European subsidiaries. The move gives the banks an advantage over banks operating out of P-note hubs in Singapore and Mauritius.

5/18/2018

Europe's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive has increased electronic trading of equities in Asia, with Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Bank and Citigroup seeing growth in algorithmic trading this year. MiFID II "has almost been like a jab in the back to get people moving forward with electronic usage," says Ben Valentine of Citi.