Trading volumes on ICAP’s electronic foreign exchange (FX) platform EBS continued their yearly swoon into the month of December 2015, refusing to reverse a multi-month long trajectory lower, according to an ICAP statement.
In particular, EBS’ FX volumes totalled $74.8 billion daily, constituting a decline of less than -1.0% MoM from $75.5 billion in November 2015. Despite the lackluster monthly performance however, the bleeding has been largely mitigated after a double-digit loss MoM last month, which saw EBS rescind over -10.0% of its volumes.
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Over a yearly timeframe however, EBS’s December 2015 figure of $74.8 billion is staunchly lower, to the tune of -29.0% YoY from $104.8 billion in December 2014. The figure was largely commensurate with the wait-and-see approach FX markets had taken with the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, which snapped seven years of moribund US fiscal policy.
Looking ahead, volatility appears to have heated up already in 2016 given the upheaval currently enveloping offshore markets such as Chinese equities, which have spooked investors worldwide. However, with the one-year anniversary of the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) decision that roiled currency markets coming up this month, it will be unlikely that EBS secures a strong YoY advance relative to 2015.
Given the aforementioned Fed activity last month, it’s no surprise that ICAP’s US Treasury activity was slated for some movement in December 2015. As such, US Treasury volumes fell to $142.5 billion in December 2015, down -2.0% from $146.1 billion in November 2015. In terms of a yearly figure, this also justifies a more pronounced drop of -4.0% from $149.0 billion in December 2014.