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Foreign Exchange

FX volumes fall in March; EBS loses further market share

FX volumes on the world’s leading FX platforms eased in March as activity remained subdued.

Thomson Reuters maintained its lead over Icap’s EBS, which in recent months has seen its market share eroded. Icap has put some of the fall in volumes on EBS down to subdued activity in the CHF and the JPY, in which it is the market leader. That is because intervention from the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of Japan to stem the rise in their currencies has led to less volatility and, hence, less trading opportunities in the two currencies.

However, while that has seen EBS lose market share – and has sparked a management shake-up at the broker – volumes generally have suffered as the world’s most-traded currency pair, EURUSD, has been relatively range-bound, even in the face of the eurozone debt crisis.

Average daily trading volumes on Thomson Reuters’ main spot platforms – Thomson Reuters Dealing, Matching and Reuters Trading for FX – fell to $137 billion in March from $136 billion in February. That represented a 9% fall on March 2011.

Average daily volumes on EBS dropped 3% to $122.7 billion in March, a 22% fall compared with March 2011.

Meanwhile, CME Group said combined FX futures and options trading totalled $118 billion, down 12% on the year.

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