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Jul 1, 2015

Ranks of commodities brokers dwindle as U.S. futures industry evolves

NEW YORK, July 1 (Reuters) – U.S. commodities brokerages – a
key focus of reforms designed to make the financial system safer
- are increasingly struggling to eke out a profit, spurring many
firms to think about leaving the business, or trying to boost

The brokers, known as “futures commission merchants” or
FCMs, are paying increasingly large sums to comply with new
regulations, bolster their cybersecurity systems, and do
business with exchanges, among other areas.

Jun 30, 2015

Nasdaq advocates for U.S. stock exchange pricing reform

NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) – Nasdaq OMX Group said
on Tuesday that U.S. equities exchange rules should be changed
so that the price of trading a stock is based on the how
actively it trades, echoing a similar proposal by rival exchange
operator BATS Global Markets.

In a letter to Nasdaq’s customers, Tom Wittman, global head
of equities, also voiced the exchange’s support for a plan by
the U.S. regulators to test widening the increments, or “ticks,”
at which smaller companies’ stocks are priced to see if doing so
helps improve market liquidity.

Jun 24, 2015

Nasdaq partners with Chain to bring blockchain to private market

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) – Exchange operator Nasdaq OMX
Group Inc said on Wednesday it partnered with
blockchain infrastructure provider Chain to make digital ledger
technology available to private companies that issue and
transfer shares on the Nasdaq Private Market (NPM).

The blockchain is a shared distributed ledger that records
and is the repository of digital assets. It is also the
mechanism parties can use to transfer those assets.

Jun 10, 2015

FINRA may cut or drop fees for dark pool reports

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s self-funded watchdog said on Wednesday it may cut the fees it charges to professional users, like banks, of its weekly report on off-exchange trading volumes in order to make the information more accessible following industry complaints.

“We are looking hard at reducing or eliminating those fees,” Richard Ketchum, chief executive officer of The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), said at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit.

Jun 3, 2015

U.S. stock market reform has wrong focus, outgoing regulator says

NEW YORK, June 3 (Reuters) – The piecemeal approach taken by
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in regulating the
stock market is not likely to lead to any major changes in the
coming years, outgoing SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher said on

“We need to do something more dramatic than nipping around
the edges,” he said.

May 18, 2015

Polish bourse eyes speed traders as U.S. approves futures contract

NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) – The Warsaw Stock Exchange
has been cleared by U.S. regulators to make futures
contracts based on an index of Poland’s top public companies
available to U.S. investors and high-speed trading firms, an
exchange executive said on Monday.

The move could attract more automated trading firms that use
arbitrage strategies to profit from fleeting disparities between
the prices of the futures contracts and those of the underlying
securities, said Grzegorz Zawada, vice president of WSE’s
management board.

May 14, 2015

U.S. SEC advisory panel begins review of stock market regulation

May 13 (Reuters) – A raft of suggestions to help make U.S.
equities markets fairer and more efficient were on the table on
Monday as an advisory panel kicked off its first meeting by
presenting regulators with what some called a long-overdue
review of market rules.

Issues like the cost of trading on exchanges, trading
incentives and broker standards, were discussed by the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission’s Market Structure Advisory
Committee at its day-long meeting in Washington, D.C. The
panel’s 17 members include representatives from fund companies,
an exchange, off-exchange trading venues, dealers and academia.

May 7, 2015

BATS seeks to change how U.S. stock market data systems are run

NEW YORK (Reuters) – BATS Global Markets is seeking changes in the governance of data processors central to the U.S. stock market, in order to give brokers and institutional investors a say in their operation for the first time, the head of the exchange operator said on Thursday.

The Securities Information Processors, or SIPs, disseminate stock quotations and last sale prices from all 11 U.S. stock exchanges and around 40 alternative trading venues to brokers and fund managers, which must buy the data to show they obtained the best possible prices for their clients. But the exchanges and an industry regulator make all the decisions on how the SIPs are run and how much the data is worth.

May 5, 2015

Wall Street group backs BATS exchange’s U.S. market reform proposal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Wall Street trade group on Tuesday
threw its support behind a proposal for regulatory reform of the
U.S. stock market that exchange operator BATS Global Markets
suggested earlier this year, including slashing exchange fees.

The proposal would reduce complexity while making the
markets more transparent and fair, the Securities Industry and
Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), said in a letter to the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Apr 30, 2015

Global bank regulators call for more risk controls around algorithmic trading

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Banks need to put in place more stringent standards around algorithmic trading to help reduce risks to the financial system as trading becomes more electronic and increasingly complex, a group made up of global regulators said on Thursday.

Most trading firms are highly automated and use pre-programmed instructions, known as algorithmic trading strategies, to make lightning-fast decisions on which securities to buy and sell, with little human intervention. Banks regularly use algorithmic trading strategies and have high-frequency trading firms as clients.