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Foreign Exchange

CME, ICE and ICAP report lacklustre FX volumes in January

Leading exchanges and interdealer platforms continue to post weaker FX volumes than last January, despite a pick-up in investor sentiment and stock market rallies in 2012.

CME Group foreign exchange volume averaged 744,000 contracts per day, down 21% from January last year, but up 3% on December, reflecting an average daily notional value of $96 billion. Average daily volume for all currency futures and options contracts, traded on the IntercontinentalExchange, the home of the US-dollar index, was 25,818 in January, a 16% fall year-on-year. A total of 459,717 DXY contracts changed hands last month, 20% fewer than the 575,465 traded in December 2011.

ICAP, the leading interdealer broker, also announced that average daily spot FX volumes on the EBS platform in January were $116 billion, a decrease of 23% compared with the previous year due to several of EBS’s strongest currencies being relatively range bound. Average daily volumes in December were $95.7 billion for spot FX, the lowest monthly level since ICAP began recording electronic spot FX in 2006.

ICAP, which earlier this week reported a 7% fall in quarterly group revenues year-on-year, also attributed the lower volumes on EBS to the central bank intervention in the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen, which has reduced volatility in these currencies.

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