UK Forex volumes down

The average daily turnover in UK foreign exchange markets fell in the six months to October, driven by a drop

The average daily turnover in UK foreign exchange markets fell in the six months to October, driven by a drop in FX swaps and options activity, according to a  Bank of England survey.

The survey revealed that average daily turnover of spot, outright forwards, non-deliverable forwards, swaps, FX options and currency swaps in the UK market totalled $1.972 trillion (£1.24 trillion) in October 2011, 3 per cent lower than in April 2011 but 17 per cent higher than a year earlier.

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While the drop from April 2011 was driven by a 9 per cent fall in FX swaps activity, spot turnover rose 2 per cent to a record high of $802bn.

Turnover for currency swaps also saw a relatively large increase, although average daily turnover in forex options fell to $130bn from $140bn in April 2011.

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The daily turnover in FX swaps fell to $820bn in the latest survey, from $902bn.

According to the survey, the US dollar was the most actively traded currency, and its share rose in the six months to October while the euro, which was the next most traded currency, also saw its share climb.

The Australian dollar’s share rose at the expense of the pound sterling, the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc.

Thirty financial institutions active in the UK foreign exchange market participated in the survey.

London is recognised as the largest FX market according to Bank of International Settlements, the UK’s capital has strengthened its position since the recent NFA rulings on leverage as leading US based brokers shifted business to UK under the FSA. This trend is continuing as Cyprus based FX brokers are using the MIFID to offer services under the UK banner.

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