According to a corporate announcement, the average daily volumes (ADV) traded on the foreign exchange futures and options market, including the network of exchanges and clearing houses operated by the Intercontinental Exchange, decreased materially in February.
The exchange reported that an average of 39,000 contracts changed hands in a typical trading day in February, which is lower by 24% when compared to the month of January, but remains much higher than in February 2014. The figures include U.S. dollar index futures and options.
At the time, subdued foreign exchange market activity led to a massive decline in volumes which persisted throughout the first half of 2014.
On a year-on-year basis, commodity trading continued marking gains and records. While the total ADV on the Intercontinental Exchange network declined by 6% when compared to a year ago, commodities trading increased 11%.
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Brent oil, Gasoil and other oil contracts led the expansion rising by 61%, 38% and 74% respectively. During the month, daily volumes records were set in Brent, Gasoil and Total Oil futures and WTI crude oil options.
The decline in overall volumes was led by financials outside of FX, where interest rate contracts declined by 27%, while equity derivatives shed 24%.
It remains to be seen whether the decline in FX trading volumes is here to persist, just like it did in 2014. After a stellar month in January 2014, foreign exchange trading volumes dwindled for the next six months leading to financial difficulties for a number of brokerages.
The month of March has started on a positive note as the euro hit a fresh 11-year low against the U.S. dollar after Greek uncertainty and ECB easing weighed on the single currency.