As expected December trading figures were lower as traders cool down for the festive holidays.
CME Group the largest futures exchange reported its daily volume averaged 9.6 million contracts in December, down 9% from a year earlier and a 27% drop from November.
Daily volume for interest-rate futures, the CME’s biggest product by that metric, fell 30% from a year earlier to average 3.5 million contracts a day. Foreign exchange volume slipped 11% from a year earlier.
Equity index volume was up sharply, however, posting a 31% gain from December 2010 to average 2.8 million contracts a day.
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CME Group in November reported its third-quarter earnings jumped 29%, helped by a double-digit jump in clearing and transaction fee revenue and sharply improved margins.
Meanwhile, energy-focused market operator ICE reported its average daily volume was 1.1 million contracts last month, down 1.3% on the year and off 30% from November. Its biggest product, Brent crude futures and options, posted a 7.7% increase in daily volume from a year earlier, a lighter gain than the double-digit jumps recorded in recent months. West Texas Intermediate crude futures and options volume slumped 41% from a year earlier.
Currency futures and options volume rose 7.1% over December 2010. ICE has been building a significant following for futures on the U.S. dollar index with aims of being a stiffer competitor to CME’s forex futures business.
Forexmagnates team have prepared a detailed report in the daily trade volumes for institutional platforms, CME’s figures are also included along with other ECN’s in the next quarterly report.