The Financial Futures Association of Japan (FFAJ) released a set of statistics this Friday detailing the state of the retail trading industry in the East Asian country.
According to the investor protection and research agency, at the end of December 2018, there were 53 companies in Japan offering leveraged over the counter (OTC) foreign exchange trading (FX) trading to retail investors.
Given that this was only a couple of weeks ago, and no new trading licenses have been handed out since then, it’s safe to assume that this number remains the same today.
Looking at all of 53 of those companies, the FFAJ found that retail traders had open positions worth a whopping 69.35 trillion yen ($634 billion) at the end of last month.
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Yen trading peaks, deposits go up
The bulk of that trading volume was in yen-based currency pairs. The US dollar came close behind the yen, with smaller amounts of trading done in euro, British pound, and Australian dollars.
In terms of deposits, Japanese retail traders, across all 53 brokerages, deposited 184.34 billion yen ($1.69 billion) in December. During the same period, they also withdrew just under 157 billion yen ($1.44 billion).
For brokers, that meant December was, with the exception of January, February and August, their best month for deposits in 2018.
It also meant that this was the month with the second highest level of client withdrawals – with only August having higher levels of client withdrawals than December.