CME Group Reports Record Gold Futures Volumes, FX Flatlines

The futures trading venue reports intriguing figures in times of ultra-low volume in the run-up to its Bitcoin debut.

The Chicago-based CME Group is reporting record trading for gold futures in November. Whether it is on the heels of tax reform back and forth or the Trump administration’s geopolitical adventures, the activity on the market does not correspond to the lackluster trading range in this market.

Gold futures and options average daily volumes reached 453,000, which is a figure that is higher by 11 percent when compared to the previous month. Gold futures accounted for 416,000 contracts per day.

Overall November activity was brisk, with the CME posting 21 percent month-on-month growth totaling 18 million contracts daily. Compared to last years’ booming November, the figure was lower by 14 percent.

Options contracts totaled to 3.5 million per day, a number that contracted 6 percent year-on-year.

Metals and Energy Lead the Way

Trading in metals and energy was buoyant in November. The CME outlines that a total of 749,000 contracts per day were traded on the exchange. The figure is a new record, surpassing November 2016 by 4 percent and October 2017 by 33 percent.

Energy volumes grew 12 percent when compared to the previous month but were lower by 3 percent compared to a year ago.

Foreign Exchange Volumes Flatlining

With a directionless trading setting-in during the past month, trading of foreign exchange contracts on the CME was far from exciting. With an average daily volume of 915,000, traders were more active by 3 percent when compared to October, but down 7 percent when compared to the month when Trump got elected in 2016.

Trading in emerging market currency pairs was materially more active when compared to a year ago. Russian ruble trading volumes increased 70 percent, demand for South African rand contracts rose 37 percent, while the Indian rupee market ballooned higher by 185 percent.

Equities and Interest Rates Mixed

Equity and interest rates contracts were more in demand in November when compared to the previous month. The average daily volume for equity indices derivatives rose 22 percent to 2.7 million contracts per day after October 2017. The number was down 14 percent year-on-year.

Overall interest rates futures and options trading hit a record of 79 million contracts on November the 22nd. Average metrics totalled 9.3 million contracts daily, a figure that is higher by 23 percent month-on-month and down 21 percent from the same month of last year.

The company is set to launch a new product in the coming days. In what is the most-expected contract in years, trading in Bitcoin futures will be made available to the company’s clients starting from the 17th of December. Earlier today, another Chicago-based exchange, the CBOE, announced that it would launch live Bitcoin futures trading next Monday.

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