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Foreign Exchange

Reuters, EBS FX trading volumes pick up sharply in May; smaller rise at FXall

Trading volumes at Thomson Reuters and EBS rose strongly last month, as rising volatility sparked the currency markets back to life.

The resurfacing of concerns over eurozone debt after an inconclusive Greek election result early last month finally pushed EURUSD out of the tight range that had prevailed for the first few months of the year, suppressing volatility and dealing opportunities. The break-out in EURUSD came amid reports from dealers of increased FX-trading activity, which had been subdued as currencies remained range-bound.

That anecdotal evidence was backed up by figures earlier this week from CME, which showed trading volumes rose 25% in May, although they remained below 2011 levels.

Figures from Thomson Reuters on Friday followed suit, showing average daily spot volumes across its main trading services – Thomson Reuters Dealing, Matching and Reuters Trading for FX – rose 18.5% to $154 billion, the highest level since October. Volumes were down 4.3% from May 2011, however.

Average daily volumes at EBS, Icap's FX dealing platform, were also sharply higher, rising to $130.8 billion. That was up 19% on April, but down 25% year on year.

May was a record month for a number of emerging markets currencies on EBS, including the Russian rouble, CNH (offshore Chinese renminbi) and Mexican peso.

Figures showed trading volumes at FXall, the leading multi-dealer FX platform, also rose last month but lagged the increases seen elsewhere.

FXall announced on Friday that average daily trading volumes rose just 1% in May to $90 billion. That was an increase of 5% from May 2011.

 

FXall separates its services according to client type, with average daily volume in relationship trading – used largely by corporates and asset managers – flat at $69.48 billion. Average daily volume in active trading – related to the firm’s ECN platform and continuous-stream platform used primarily by banks, broker-dealers and hedge funds – rose 7.1%.

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