ICE Sees Double Digit ADV Losses Across Key Assets, FX Rebounds

ICE's options and futures business stumbled again in March, opening up wider losses in 2016.

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a global network of exchanges and clearing houses, has released its volumes for the month ending March 2016, having finally seen some manner of rebound across its foreign exchange (FX) average daily volumes (ADV), according to a recently released ICE statement.

During March 2016, futures and options ADV came in at 4.9 million per day, which constituted a loss of -16.9% MoM from 5.9 million contracts per day in February 2015, marking the second such month the exchange has seen sizable losses in this area. Conversely, over a yearly timeframe, March 2016’s ADV did justify a slight increase above its 2015 counterpart despite the more immediate MoM weakness, in this instance justifying a 4.2% YoY climb from just 4.7 million contracts in March 2015.

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By extension, commodities ADV were equally weak in March 2016, careening to 2.7 million contracts per day, down -20.6% MoM, with a figure of 3.4 million contracts per day set back in February 2016. Compared to last year however, the figure was virtually congruent to March 2015’s 2.7 million daily contracts, seeing no tangible change YoY. The result is rather surprising given the widespread volatility in commodities markets over the past month, including the surprising decline of gold, which started off the 2016 year red hot.

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Additionally, equity indices ADV on ICE came in at just 199,000 contracts per day in March 2016, incurring a substantial decline of -46.9% MoM from 375,000 in February 2016. The loss was even wider under a YoY analysis, losing -52.1% from 416,000 contracts per day in March 2015.

FX Orchestrates Slight Rebound

One of the lone bright spots to ICE’s monthly volumes in March was across its foreign exchange (FX) and credit volumes, which had recently been characterized as highly uneven. March 2016 saw an ADV of 35,000 contracts for the per day, which secured a healthy gain of 6.1% MoM from 33,000 contracts per day in February 2015, though still unable to regain its 2016 highs set back in January with 39,000 contracts per day.

When viewed under the lens of last year’s figures however, the optimism surrounding March 2016’s ADV quickly evaporated, especially given its comparison to March 2015’s figure of 83,000 contracts per day, or -57.8% YoY.

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