CFTC Data Shows US Retail FX Deposits Consolidating in November

FX activity amongst US FCMs was largely static heading into year-end, falling slightly in November.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has published its monthly report for November 2017, covering data for all FCMs registered as Retail Foreign Exchange Dealers (RFEDs), which includes broker dealers that hold retail forex obligations in the US. Overall, domestic deposits fell month-over-month in November 2017.

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November proved to be a rather light month in terms of trading activity, with FX markets largely confined to a wait-and-see approach. The primary culprit was the status of a GOP-led tax law, which held markets in limbo. Moreover, the month was largely characterized by a lack of any market drivers, with the USD failing to register any broad-based moves.

FX activity in the US has been largely stable in Q4 2017 to date, having even seen a slight gain last month as trading activity rebounded. November 2017 was largely static however, with retail forex deposits in the US being skewed slightly negative.

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In particular, FX funds held at registered brokerages operating in the United States came in at $535.3 million in November 2017, which is $7.9 million lower, or 1.5 percent less than ‎$543.2 million reported in October 2017. This includes data for GAIN Capital, Interactive Brokers, OANDA Corporation, and TD Ameritrade.

According to the CFTC dataset, each of the four FX firms listed saw their respective retail forex obligations decline in November 2017, with the exception of Interactive Brokers. The best performer for the month for the second straight month, Interactive Brokers saw an overall rise of $4.5 million to $47.0 million at the end of November 2017. This compared to $42.5 million at the end of October, or an increase by 10.8 percent month-over-month.

Looking at the market share, the overall distribution of brokers was largely unchanged in November 2017 relative to the month prior. GAIN Capital remains the paramount player in the US, commanding a 47.4 percent share. This is followed by OANDA Corporation (32.3 percent), TD Ameritrade (11.6 percent), and lastly Interactive Brokers (8.8 percent) respectively.

The chart listed below outlines the full list of each of the four FCMs that held US retail forex obligations in the month ending in November 30, 2017 – for the purposes of comparison, the figures have been included against their October 2017 counterparts.

Source: CFTC
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