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CLS Releases Comparative Data for FX Surveys

To accompany the FX committee surveys on averge daily volume in the FX markets, CLS, the utility established to reduce settlement risk in FX markets, has released its comparative data for the months of October 2011, April 2012 and October 2012.

The data cannot be compared directly as CLS does not cover all currencies, however it is a useful barometer of market activity.

CLS says that activity in all products fell by 7% year-on-year to October 2012, however it increased by 4% from April 2012. The utility says it settled an average daily value of $1.713 trillion in October 2012, down from $1.846 trillion the year before and $1.65 trillion in April 2012.

Across product segments, CLS settled values dropped 15% in spot year-on-year (+3% from April 2012); rose by 1% in FX swaps (+5%); and fell by 4% in outright forwards (+6%).

Analysis by Profit & Loss shows that those platforms that report monthly data had a mixed time compared to the wider market. On a year-on-year basis, EBS dropped 45.5%, Hotspot FX by 33.4%, CME by 26.6%, and Thomson Reuters by 22.6% – FXall, by contrast, saw activity rise 9.3%.

A better comparison can be made by looking at the six monthly change, mainly because of the inclusion of Japan in the data – the Japanese yen being a major part of both EBS and CME volumes. From April 2012 to October 2012, when overall activity according to the FX committees dropped by 12.3% and spot activity by 7.5%, the picture is not as stark.

EBS dropped 15.6%, Hotspot FX dropped 8.8%, Thomson Reuters fell 7.7% and CME dropped by 6.7%. Again FXall bucked the trend, rising 5.6%. It should be noted that FXall is the only platform to include all FX activity in its data. It could be that much of the FXall increase has been driven by the wider increase in activity in FX swaps as reported by the FX committees.

Profit & Loss

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