The EU's relatively slow approach to reviving the economy, while the US prepares a $1.9 trillion aid package, means the bloc might return to pre-pandemic conditions one year later than the US does. EU states took months to agree on a €750 billion recovery fund, and details are still being discussed.
Prices in the EU carbon market, the world's biggest system for emissions trading, have increased 60% since November. With hundreds of financial firms participating, the market is increasingly seen as mainstream.
UK fund managers have changed their stance and no longer expect an interest-rate cut from the Bank of England this year. Money markets are betting rates will remain unchanged, then rise in early 2022.
The UK Treasury has opened a consultation on a proposal to hand full control of central counterparties at risk of collapse to the Bank of England. The proposal would let the BoE act more quickly.
Hong Kong plans to expand cross-border trading programmes and to implement regulatory changes to attract business, after a 30% increase in trading stamp duty has dampened enthusiasm for the city's markets. "Hong Kong's stock market can compete with quality, [instead of] low cost, so we do not need to be the cheapest market, but we need to make sure we are the best," says Christopher Hui Ching-yu, secretary for financial services and the treasury.
Vanguard is withdrawing from institutional business in China to focus on the consumer market through a partnership with Ant Group. The move is complicated by Ant's operational overhaul in response to the government's objections to some practices.
Trading has opened in China's carbon market, a decade after officials proposed it. There are hopes the market lowers the country's high level of carbon emissions, but effectiveness is uncertain, given that China continues to build hundreds of coal-fired power plants.
The European Securities and Markets Authority and EU officials have stated their intention to raise scrutiny of retail brokerages' commission-free trading models, particularly payment for order flow arrangements.
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