The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has published its anticipated monthly report for April 2018, which covers data for FCMs that are registered as Retail Foreign Exchange Dealers (RFEDs) and those included as broker-dealers that hold retail forex obligations in the United States.
The latest data shows a total positive change month-over-month from March, though differences amongst each broker were more pronounced. With no major changes recently, the sector is tracking for a stable start to the second quarter. However, the prospect of loosening regulations may soon revive interest in the US market among foreign brokers, or at least help brighten the outlook for a retail industry that has struggled for quite some time under the provisions of the Dodd-Frank legislation.
Jay Powell, the Fed chair appointed by President Donald Trump, told reporters last week that regulators were seeking to “replace overly complex and inefficient requirements with a more streamlined set of requirements”.
Retail forex deposits in the US have been largely skewed positively during April. The FX funds held at registered brokerages operating in the United States came in at $533.3 million in April 2018, which is 4 percent more than the $510 million reported in March.
According to the CFTC dataset, three of the four FX firms listed notched increases in Retail Forex Obligations including GAIN Capital, OANDA Corporation and TD AMERITRADE.
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The best performer for the month was GAIN Capital which saw an overall rise of $12.0 million to $251.2 million at the end of April 2018, compared to $239 million at the end of March, or an increase by 5 percent month-over-month. In terms of percentages, TD AMERITRADE stands at a 9 percent increase on March’s figures, compared to more than 3.0 percent drop in the previous month.
Meanwhile, the single loss was made for the second consecutive month by Interactive Brokers, which saw a drop of $6.2 million, or nearly 15 percent month-over-month.
Looking at the market share of different brokers, the distribution slightly changed in April relative to the month prior. GAIN Capital remained the leader in terms of market share, commanding a 47.0 percent share, but shedding 1 percent from March. OANDA also solidified its stance as the second largest in the US with 34.0 percent market share – TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers retain a 12.0 and 7.0 percent share respectively.
The chart listed below outlines the full list of all FCMs that held Retail Forex Obligations in the month ending in April 30, 2018 – for purposes of comparison, the figures have been included against their March 2018 counterparts to illustrate disparities.