UK financial services minister John Glen has called on European Union regulators to assure financial firms they will be able to conduct business as usual between the UK and eurozone during the 20-month Brexit transition period, which may be agreed and announced today. So far, the regulators appear reluctant to offer such assurances, pointing out that the agreement has yet to be legally ratified.
The Basel Committee has announced it intends to revise its requirements for the capital that banks must hold in reserve, with the revisions coming into effect in January 2022. Industry bodies have welcomed the announcement and expect it to result in a lightening of the banks' financial burden.
European Parliament members are calling for derivatives dealers to be given more detailed rules on the terms they must offer for indirect clearing services to smaller firms. Backers say the proposal, which has broad cross-party support, will make it easier for small firms to clear their derivatives without becoming members of clearinghouses.
Chinese tech giant Tencent's stock dropped 8% Friday morning amid concerns that one of its largest shareholders is expected to sell nearly $10 billion of its stake, which was roughly $175 billion through Thursday. The company's shares had dropped 5% Thursday on the news.
Real estate investment trusts may become available in China, encouraged by President Xi Jinping's call for affordable housing, opening a financing niche worth an estimated $1.9 trillion in issuances.
US stock indexes plunged to levels not seen since the February sell-off after President Donald Trump said he will impose tariffs on goods imported from China and China announced it will retaliate. Traders wary of an impending trade war diverted money from stocks into the Treasury market, which is seen as a safe haven during market volatility.
The European Council issued a statement backing the UK's position that Russia was probably responsible for a chemical agent attack on a former Russian spy residing in Britain and his daughter. The leaders said the EU has withdrawn its ambassador from Russia for consultations in protest.
Members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-2 to keep the central bank's key interest rate at the current 0.5%. Money managers said the two dissenting votes suggest the likelihood of a rate hike at the committee's May meeting.
Concerns about escalating conflict with the US over trade sent Asian-Pacific markets tumbling Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 plunged 4.5%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 2.5%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 2%; China's Shanghai Composite gave up 3.4%; South Korea's Kospi plummeted 3.2%; and India's Sensex was down 1.2%.