Interactive Brokers’ DARTs Retreat in March, Accounts Reach Fresh High

Volumes at Interactive Brokers continued to be affected by volatility across markets in 2018

Global electronic brokerage, Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR) has reported its trading volumes for the month ending March 2017. After peaking at an all-time high last month, the group saw its DARTs retreat slightly in March, snapping what had been months of consecutive growth.

Markets in 2018 have had no shortage of volatility to digest, with March providing lingering turmoil in the political space across Europe, the UK, and the US. In the US, the Trump administration’s aggressive posturing has drummed up fears of a trade war, helping kindle activity across multiple asset classes.

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This was not enough to see a new record high at Interactive Brokers in March, however, with the group’s DARTs retracing slightly back to levels earlier this year. So far, Interactive Brokers has managed to substantially outperform its 2017 counterparts in every month so far this year. March 2018 was no exception.

In particular, the group reported a monthly DARTs figure of 903,000 in March 2018, falling by 11.5 percent month-over-month from 1,020,000 DARTs set back in February 2018. The retracement of DARTs represents a decline off an all-time high last month. Still, March’s DARTs reading was 39.1 percent higher on a yearly basis relative to 649,000 DARTs back in March 2017.

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Of note, March 2018 had a total of 21 trading days, relative to 19 in February 2018. In terms of its other monthly statistics, Interactive Brokers’ ending client margin loan balances again rose in March 2018, yielding $29.3 billion for the month. This reflected a growth of 4.6 percent from February.

This figure in March 2018 was higher by nearly 40.2 percent year-over-year from $20.9 billion back in March 2017. The company’s loan balances have been trending higher every month since September 2016, with the exception of February 2018.

Another new high in accounts

Interactive Brokers’ customer accounts had already been in a perpetual ascension over the past two years, with March 2018 being no exception. The group disclosed a figure of 517,400 for March 2018, a fresh all-time high at the brokerage. The number has risen in every month during 2017 and now 2018 as the group continues to expand its market footprint in the US’ retail market.

While just higher by 2.0 percent from 507,800 accounts in February 2018, Interactive Brokers has seen its customer accounts jump by a full 27.5 percent compared to March 2017.

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