ICE’s Forex Volumes Hit Three-Month High in December

Volatility consolidated last month on a typical calm ahead of the year-end.

Georgia-based Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, on Friday disclosed strong metrics across its FX and credit volumes for December 2018, which rose to its best levels since September, coming in at 35,000 contracts per day.

The figure reflected a 17 percent increase month-over-month from just 30,000 contracts in November 2018. In addition, the exchange operator registered a 13 percent advance in volumes when compared to 31,000 contracts in December 2017.

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The overall financial products, which also include interest rates and equity indices, orchestrated a gain of 17.5 percent year-on-year after revealing 2.73 million contracts per day compared to 2.32 million in December 2017. However, the figure is lower by nearly five percent over a monthly basis.

According to data released today, turnover from ICE’s flagship energy contracts dropped off its fresh highs hit last month, when the free-fall in prices heightened interest from retail and speculative investors.

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For the month ending December 2018, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange saw its energy volume average 2.6 million contracts per day, which represents a steep slump of more than 31 percent month-on-month compared with 3.36 million contracts in November 2018. Across a yearly interval, the latest figures also show a six percent drop from 2.46 million contracts per day in December 2017.

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Volatility consolidated last month on a typical calm ahead of the year-end, though roiling global markets, with turbulence remaining elevated through the end of December, benefiting some exchange operators.

Overall, ICE’s aggregated volumes were, however, characterized by mixed results across both the monthly and yearly intervals, while volumes were broadly flat in December across most business segments.

During the reported month, ICE’s December average daily volume (ADV) for futures and options business was reported at 5.34 million contracts per day, which corresponded to a 19 percent fall month-over-month from 6.62 million per day in November 2018. However, this latest figure marks a five percent advance over December’ 2017 which came at 5.11 million contracts per day.

In terms of ICE’s total commodities volume, the figure was downbeat in its overall performance, amounting to average 2.6 million contracts per day in December 2018, down 30 percent vs. 3.75 million the month prior. The group’s commodities activity was also lower by -7 percent year-on-year when weighed against 2.8 million contracts reported back in December 2017.

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