Driven by interest in the Yen and Euro, FX trading at the CME accelerated. For the month, the exchange reported total futures volume of 17,696,362 (900,000/day) contracts traded. The figure was 25% above January 2012 levels and a 13.9% increase from what was a solid December. The clear correlation between the spike in volatility and trading volumes shows that traders continue to view FX as a tradable asset class. Traders jumped back into the asset class as the Swiss National Bank had intervened in the Franc during the month, a rotation back into the Euro occurred, and the Yen continued to weaken. As such, systematic momentum traders have been returning driving volumes higher in currencies. In addition to the 45.2% increase in Yen trading volumes, the currency hit records for monthly volume and open interest (198,892 lots, $27 billion) during the month.
In dollar terms, average daily volume (ADV) for FX was $114 billion. The CME Group also reported that February has started off rather well will with last Friday’s figures (Non Farm Payroll day) hitting $172 billion in FX volume. In addition, FX Options trading hit $18.8 billion last Friday, the highest one day total since May 2011.
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While we reported earlier that broker’s had mentioned to Forex Magnates that January had begun strong, it will be interesting to see how well the OTC ECN venues fared in comparison to the CME.