FX Volumes Drop Sharply In February: Platforms

The three primary FX venues to report average daily volume (ADV) data have reinforced data from a second group that activity in the market was low in February.

Refinitv says it handled $87 billion in spot ADV in February, down 8.4% from January and down 23% from February 2018, while CME Group says both its futures and EBS businesses saw similar declines.

CME Group reports ADV in futures and options contracts of 762,000, which Profit & Lossestimates to be notional volume of $75.4 billion. This is a 9.2% drop month-on-month but down 30% year-on-year. 

It was a similar picture at EBS, now owned by CME Group, which reported ADV of $73.9 billion in February, a 15.1% decline from January and a 32% drop from February 2018.

Away from spot volumes Refinitv reports non-spot ADV of $341 billion, a 2.8% drop from January, and a 2.6% drop from February 2018.

Elsewhere, Integral Development says it handled ADV of $33.3 billion across all FX products, a 4% decline from January. Integral only started reporting ADV last April and it does not give a year-on-year comparison.

Meanwhile, data from CLS indicates the utility also handled lower notional volumes in February, in all FX products volume dropped 3.3% from January to $1.725 trillion per day – an 11.5% drop year-on-year.

Spot volumes took the hardest hit, as highlighted by the trading platform numbers, on CLS the notional ADV fell to $402 billion, a 9.7% drop from January and 25.8% down year-on-year. FX swap activity also fell on both a month-on-month (-2.1%) and year-on-year (-6.1%) basis, however outright forward volumes rose by 11.6% month-on-month to $96 billion per day. On a year-on-year basis, however, outright forward volumes declined by 4%.

Colin Lambert

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