As we enter July, we have officially hit the summer months and their accompanying slow period. June was a quasi-period with the month being active at the start but news flow began to decrease as time went on. For brokers, the beginning of summer appears to have also impacted volumes as in early results for June activity he have seen both great and iffy figures being reporting. However, any drop off in June comes after a very strong May where an array of brokers posted record volume figures.
Beyond the announcement of May volume metrics during June, one of the main stories of the month was a warning that was issued to brokers from MetaQuotes about the use of third party signal providers. Controversy also occurred in the binary options sector as the CFTC charged Banc de Binary and issued a warning about binary trading. Also occurring in June were several technology related M&A deals.
Headlines during June:
MetaQuotes warns brokers: The month began with MetaQuotes warning brokers about using products from myfxbook, Tradency, ZuluTrade, and Tradeo. The technology provider behind the MetaTrader platform based its letter in licensing infringements that were being done by the four third party firms. Responding to the claims, both myfxbook and ZuluTrade pleaded ‘not guilty’, while Tradency gave the good old ‘you can’t fire me, I quit’ speech as they announced they would no longer support MT4. While there is substance to MetaQuote’s claims that third party offerings can create software conflicts and security threats to MT4 servers, many in the industry believe that this is simply about MetaQuotes acting to remove competitors as it has launched its own signal trading offering.
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Brokers showing demand for UK regulation: Despite globalization efforts, one constant in the market is the desirability of having a London address. This was seen as eToro and Admiral Markets announced that they were opening London offices after receiving FCA licenses in the UK. Also, Japanese retail FX giant, GMO Click has chosen the city to be the hub of its foreign expansion efforts.
Volumes strong: Across the board, brokers reported strong May volume figures during June. Records were seen in various regions as Russian heavy Alpari, Japanese GMO Click and DMM, as well as global FXCM all set all-time highs. Driving volumes was the continued volatility in the yen as well as a return to interest rate speculation among clients.
Banc de Binary charged by the CFTC: The CFTC announced that it is charging binary options broker, Banc De Binary, for “violating the CFTC’s Off-Exchange Options Trading Ban and Operating as an Unregistered Futures Commission Merchant”. According to the allegations, Banc De Binary, offered accounts to US customers without a license. In a simultaneous announcement together with the SEC, the CFTC issued a Consumer Alert on fraudulent schemes involving binary options and their trading platforms.
Technology firms in play: M&A among technology vendors was active as StreamBase Systems was acquired by TIBCO Software, Progress Software sold its Apama platform to Software AG, and Japanese Simplex Holding received a tender offering from management.
The month also featured numerous new product releases including: