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Foreign Exchange

FX market volumes: It’s a funny old game

It seems a strange time in the FX market: there’s still not that much movement but there is enough going on to spur some decent bouts of activity.

Both the CME and Icap FX, as EBS is now known, reported strong volumes last week. The CME said that it had seen record volumes in its cable and Aussie futures last Friday and that June had got off to a great start, with average daily volume running at 775,214 contracts a day, worth a notional $93 billion. Similarly Icap reported that its electronic volumes had exceeded $1 trillion on two consecutive days in the first week of June, with EBS accounting for around a quarter of the total. Without wishing to sound like a broken record (again), it only highlights what a bargain Icap got when it bought EBS off its former, mainly bank, owners last year.

Talking of volumes on new platforms, I spoke to my old mucker Ron Smith-Galer, the legend behind the revolutionary YoursMineShag, this week. “How many yards are you doing a day?” I asked him. “Around about 20,” was his nonchalant reply. I was astonished, but then I realised that we were talking at cross purposes. I was thinking about volumes in billions of dollars, while Ron was talking about the plumbing side of his business. “Yeah, this plastic stuff makes it easy to put in pipes nowadays,” added Ron.

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