The CME has posted its March volume data. During the month, overall futures volume were 212,246,697 contracts, a 4.5% month over month decline and 7.2% below the same period in 2012. In month over month performance, Equity Index futures saw the greatest advance as trading grew 22% from February while Interest Rate contracts fell 17%. The contrast in trading volumes mirrors the interest in Equity trading, where major indexes are traded at multi year highs during March.
Over in FX, despite record open interest and daily volume figures earlier in the Month, trading activity was basically flat when compared to February. During the month, a total of 20,238,019 FX Futures contracts were traded, a 7.8% month over month increase and 2.7% above the same period in 2012. Factoring in February’s shortened month, average daily volumes were similar between the two months, as during March, 1,072,000 contracts were traded daily versus 1,067,000 in February.
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One area that did see a dramatic reversal of activity was in FX options trading. At 1,201,988 options traded, the unit experienced a 35.8% increase from March 2012, but was 18.9% below February’s level.
In individual contracts, the lone major decliner was in Japanese Yen trading, where month over month volumes fell 8.5%. The decline occurred as volatility in Yen crosses subsided after several months of sharp moves in the currency. Also worth noticing was the growth in Canadian and Australian Dollar trading. The commodity currencies had seen a drop in speculation as traders began to focus on other crosses. As such, with stocks climbing to highs and more optimism in the US in regards to its economy we could be seeing traders reenter the Loonie and Aussie as interest rate plays.