The average daily volume submitted to CLS in February was $1.81 trillion, a 2.2% rise from January and 5% up from February 2019. Reflecting events at FX platforms that reported data at the start of the month, the growth was exclusively in spot markets with CLS handling $500 billion, up from $401 billion in January and $402 billion in February 2019.
Conversely, FX swap ADV dropped to $1.224 trillion from $1.263 trillion ($1.227 trillion in February 2019) and outright forward volumes were $87 billion, down from $108 billion the month before ($96 billion).
“Covid-19 (Coronavirus) was the dominant theme driving markets in February 2020, which coincided with record daily averages in USDKRW of $24 billion, USDSGD of $44 billion and USDILS of $7 billion,” says Masami Johnstone, head of information services at CLS. “The high average daily traded volumes observed at the end of February, particularly $2.3 trillion during the last week of February, have continued well into March with average daily traded volumes of $2.30 trillion, up almost 27% compared to February 2020 as a whole. By product this was a rise of 55% in spot, 15% in FX swaps and 36% in forwards.
“This was against the backdrop of the increased market volatility,” she adds. “The spread of the Coronavirus globally led to significant losses in global stock markets. Meanwhile the US 10-year treasury bond fell below 1.00% for the first time in its history on the back of a surprise Federal Reserve 50 basis point rate cut.”
Elsewhere, Deutsche Börse reports ADV of EUR 92.7 billion across all FX products, this is a 12.8% increase from January and a 27.3% increase from February 2019. Earlier this month the exchange group’s 360T reported spot FX volumes of $27.1 billion.