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Foreign Exchange

Aite highlights importance of retail FX

Another research report, this time from Aite, details how important retail flow is becoming.

Titled Retail FX Market: The Next Frontier, the report says that average daily volume had reached $60 billion by the end of 2006. “The Asia-Pacific market currently has an estimated 38% of the market, followed by Europe, which represents 31% of the retail market. The Americas represent third place with 26% of the global retail FX market,” writes author Sang Lee.

He adds: “The potential growth of the retail FX market appears limitless at this point, as potential key competition is still missing from the competitive landscape. One such group is the major dealing banks that have, to date, functioned simply as liquidity providers to the leading retail FX players.” Lee predicts that other banks will follow the leads set by Deutsche and ABN Amro and enter the market, while he also notes that traditional online brokers, such as Charles Schwab and E*Trade, have yet to get involved. “In the past, the lack of regulatory guidance and reputational risk may have played a role in dissuading these firms from providing FX trading as part of their active trading platform.” Perhaps the mooted change in regulations by the NFA might persuade these players to get involved as well.

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