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Foreign Exchange

Corporates drive impressive growth in FX algo use

FX algo use is steadily rising, according to a report by Greenwich Associates, with the most dramatic rises seen among corporate traders scrambling to demonstrate best execution, as stipulated by the FX global code of conduct.

The proportion of spot FX traded algorithmically by corporates shot up to 28% in 2016, from only 10% in 2015, according to a Greenwich Associates study.

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Richard Johnson,
Greenwich

Across the wider FX market, corporate use of algos increased to 10% from 7%, states the report, written by Richard Johnson, vice-president of market structure and technology at Greenwich, which investigated long-term investor appetite for FX algos.

Growth was concentrated outside the most active FX trading corporates – those trading more than $50 billion per year in notional value – where algo use was already well established. For these corporates, algo use remained essentially flat, having declined to 23% in 2016, from 24% in 2015.

The most startling jump was for the least active corporates, trading less than $1 billion notional per year, where FX algo use rocketed up to 10% in 2016 from no use at all in 2015. For corporates trading between $10 billion and $50 billion notional it increased to 12% from 8%, while for the $1 billion to $10 billion segment it was up by 1% to 3%.

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