German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is encouraged by the possibility of a free trade deal between the US and the EU after recent talks with US President Donald Trump, who also has expressed enthusiasm over the idea. Germany opposes trade barriers and protectionism, Merkel said, and will continue in efforts to establish trade deals.
The euro hit its highest level since November in intraday trading before falling back slightly, on news that centrist politician and former economy minister Emmanuel Macron was the front-runner in the first round of France's presidential election. Macron, whom the finance industry prefers, faces far-right opponent Marine Le Pen in the second and final vote in May.
President Donald Trump has signed executive orders suspending for 180 days provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that authorize the liquidation of distressed banks and the designation of nonbanks as systemically important financial institutions. Trump has instructed the Treasury Department to review rules governing the procedures.
Primary dealers showed lukewarm interest in the Treasury Department's proposed ultralong bonds, with 100-year bonds receiving little to no interest. In a research note released Friday, primary dealer Nomura Securities International recommended a maximum maturity of 50 years for US bonds and a $50 billion cap on ultralong bond issuance.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission isn't concerned that the increase in high-frequency traders or dark pools will undermine the integrity of the market despite concerns from retail investors, but it has put in place ways to detect misconduct. "We are now also increasingly looking to overlay behavioral economics principles across our market surveillance work," Chairman Greg Medcraft said.
Financial officials of the world's biggest economies attending meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have dropped a longstanding commitment to oppose protectionism in trade. According to a statement, they instead focus on the importance of reducing trade and current account imbalances.
The World Bank's private sector unit International Finance Corp. has invested $325 million in a bond that supports environmentally friendly projects in emerging markets, with aims to raise an additional $2 billion.
A number of quantitative investment fund managers say they might suspend operations today to avoid possible volatility sparked by the first round of France's presidential election Sunday.
After meeting with Greek officials over the weekend, the International Monetary Fund said many of the reforms necessary to put the Greek economy on its feet haven't yet been proposed by the government. Poul Thomsen, IMF's European department chief, said the fiscal, structural, pension and tax reforms already adopted are "only a down payment".
The European Central Bank may accelerate its timetable for easing bond-buying efforts as concerns over French election results appear to be easing. Several market participants say an announcement might be made as soon as June.
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