The Financial Futures Association of Japan (FFAJ) has published its most recent data on OTC (over-the counter) retail foreign exchange (FX) margin trading volumes for the month of August 2015.
After six consecutive months of strong growth leading up to January 2015, Japan saw FX trading volumes dive in early 2015. Since then, volumes have not rebounded to their January highs.
However, August 2015 saw a modest 2.5% MoM increase from the previous month of July, with the trading volume of OTC FX margin trading coming in at 491 trillion yen.
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Volatility was relatively high throughout the month, especially the latter half. FFAJ particularly highlighted a sharp fall in the South Africa Rand that occurred in the early morning of August 24, while theyen rallied against the USD.
Open positions at the end of the month declined by 653.9 billion JPY from the previous month, with a total of 6,661 billion JPY in open positions.
At the end of August, 55 FX margin trading operators were reported to be active in the country. While the Japanese retail FX market is large by any standard, margins are much thinner vis-à-vis its Western competitors. Indeed, domestic competition between brokers is fierce and regulation is strict.