CME Group’s FX Volumes Soar in May on Political Turmoil

CME Group saw strong gains in both the FX and interest rate segment after heightened political activity in Europe

Derivatives marketplace giant CME Group (NASDAQ: CME) has released its latest monthly composite across its various product segments. During May 2018, the group saw strong growth across the board, including an all-time daily record of 51.9 million contracts traded on May 29, as well as rebounds in the FX and interest rate volumes space.

Markets had already been characterized by a healthy tone during H1 2018, although May saw a fluctuation in volatility with political events in the US and Europe helping drive activity. This included turmoil in Italy in particular, which finally sparked a strong move in the EUR/USD after months of range-bound trading.

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FX and interest rate volumes surge

These events were on display with CME Group’s FX volumes during May 2018 having soared to 1.1 million contracts per day, up 34.0 percent year-over-year from May 2017. On a monthly basis, the group saw this segment rise by 32.2 percent month-over-month from 832,000 contacts per day in April 2018.

Of note, Euro FX futures and options average daily volume exploded 68.0 percent on a yearly basis to 378,000 contracts. GBP, AUD, and CAD futures and options also notched strong yearly advances growing by 20.0, 28.0, and 25.0 percent respectively in May 2018.

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The growth was not just relegated to FX, however, with the interest rate volumes at CME Group also seeing a healthy uptick during May 2018. As such, volumes climbed to 11.6 million contracts per day in May 2018, up 30.0 percent on a yearly basis vs. May 2017. Relative to April 2018, this figure also grew by 50.6 percent month-over-month from 7.7 million contracts per day.

Equities, metals unable to capture growth

Two segments that did not see a monthly growth in volumes during May 2018 were equities and metals. While both areas did grow on a yearly basis, both readings represented a retreat off of April’s readings.

CME Group saw an equities index volume reading of 2.6 million contracts per day in May 2018, up 12.0 percent from May 2017, though falling by 23.5 percent month-over-month from 3.4 million contracts per day in April 2018.

By extension, metals prices, including that of gold and silver had been relatively muted during May 2018. Metals volumes at CME Group could not sustain a monthly growth, instead declining marginally to 674,000 contracts per day in May 2018 from 682,000 contracts in April. Metals volumes did climb by 25.0 percent compared to May 2017 however.

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