EU Nations Edge Toward Deal on Overhauling Trading Rulebook

European Union nations may clinch a deal by the end of this month to overhaul the bloc’s financial markets rules, said a spokeswoman for Ireland, which holds the rotating presidency of the bloc.

Governments reacted positively to the country’s latest batch of compromise proposals on the revamp of the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or Mifid, the spokeswoman, who can’t be named in line with official policy, said by e-mail following diplomat-level talks in Brussels today.

Ireland, whose EU presidency runs out on June 30, has urged countries to accept “difficult compromises” to reach an accord on the measures, which have triggered clashes between Germany and the U.K. over provisions to boost competition in the clearing of derivatives trades. Further discussions between national diplomats on the law are scheduled to take place tomorrow.

Ireland is hopeful of securing a deal on the law -- which also introduces measures to curb speculation with commodity derivatives and toughen oversight of high-frequency trading -- before its presidency ends, the spokeswoman said.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial services chief, proposed overhauling Mifid in 2011 to counter “speculative trading activities” and implement agreements reached by the Group of 20 nations.

The draft law must be adopted by governments and by the European Parliament before it can take effect. Legislators in the assembly agreed on their negotiating position last year.

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