FINRA pursues 170 algorithmic-trading investigations The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is looking into 170 instances of abusive algorithmic trading or failure by financial firms to supervise advisers' use of algorithms, CEO Rick Ketchum said. FINRA is focusing on the use of algorithms in illegal market-manipulation techniques such as "spoofing," in which large numbers of orders are initiated and quickly canceled to deceive market participants into believing there is demand for a security.Reuters (19 May.)
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Most Asian-Pacific markets advance amid cautious trading Asian-Pacific markets mostly rose Tuesday, but declaration of martial law in Thailand and the beginning of the Bank of Japan's two-day policy meeting introduced a mood of caution. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.5%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.6%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 and China's Shanghai Composite each edged up 0.2%. South Korea's Kospi slid 0.2%. India's Sensex was up 0.3%.CNBC (20 May.),The Economic Times (India) (20 May.)
CBRC expects 100 more IPOs this year The China Securities Regulatory Commission expects that 100 initial public offerings will be held from June through year-end. "To stabilize market expectations, we plan for about 100 companies to go public, with a roughly balanced number of IPOs each month," Chairman Xiao Gang said.Reuters (19 May.)
China close to relaxing exchange-rate controls China will soon allow greater two-way exchange-rate flexibility as part of measures to boost the slumping trade sector, according to the Ministry of Commerce. In coming months, export-tax refunds will be accelerated, and special assistance will be provided to small and privately held businesses, the ministry says.Market News International (19 May.)
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Russia may soon sign $400B gas deal with China, Medvedev says Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said his country is almost ready to sign a $400 billion deal to sell natural gas to China. The proposal has been under negotiation for more than a decade. "It's time we reached an agreement with the Chinese on this issue," Medvedev said. "It is very likely that there will be a contract, which means long-term contracts."Bloomberg (19 May.)
U.S. authorities question FSB's role in SIFI decisions U.S. legislators and regulators are raising concerns about the influence the Financial Stability Board, an international body, has brought to bear on the Financial Stability Oversight Council in designating American companies as systemically important financial institutions. They want to see more transparency in how the FSB draws its conclusions.Risk.net (subscription required) (19 May.)
Polls: U.K. support increases for remaining in EU Two polls indicate that the number of people in the U.K. who want Britain to stay in the EU is growing and that if a referendum were held today, EU supporters would win. A poll by Ipsos MORI found that 54% of people would vote to stay in the EU, while 37% would favor leaving. A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 50% of respondents want to remain in the EU, while 41% want to withdraw.EuroNews.com (France) (19 May.)
ETF Securities launches fund for Chinese A-shares ETF Securities, in partnership with E Fund, has brought to the London Stock Exchange an exchange-traded fund that buys China's A-shares. The ETFS-E Fund MSCI China A GO UCITS ETF picks stock from the MSCI China A Index. The ETF also will be listed on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam and Deutsche Boerse.ETF Trends (19 May.)