The CME has announced its October figures. Total contracts (futures + options) traded on the exchange were 113,431,321 contracts which was a decline of 18.3% from October 2011, and 5.2% from September 2012’s number. The month to month decline was even worse in its FX unit where 16,315,747 contracts were traded which was a 17.0% lower than September and 16.1% lower than last year.
After a poor summer, traders were hoping to see activity pick up in the 4th quarter after improvements took place in October. However, as volatility in the FX sector and overall markets continues to be low traders are seeing fewer trading opportunities. The drop in interest in FX was especially noticed in the commodity currencies such as the Aussie, Loonie, and Kiwi. With the FED, ECB, BoJ, and BoE in a holding pattern with interest rates, all three of these currencies are seeing year to date volumes above 2011 levels as traders have been speculating on possible central bank moves from the RBA, BoC, and RBNZ. Nonetheless, volumes in each of these currencies dropped in October compared to September as their respective central banks also appear to be in a holding pattern until the end of the year. (For a more in-depth look at the FX Futures industry and the role on volatility and cross asset correlations on volumes, Forex Magnates published a review of the sector in its Q3 Forex Markets Report)
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