ICE’s June Volumes Set Multi-Year Highs, FX and Equities Surge

Despite low volatility across markets, ICE managed one of its most active trading months of the year.

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a global network of exchanges and clearing houses, has disclosed its aggregated trading volumes for June 2017. Despite a slow trading month, ICE managed to set a three-year high in futures volumes – FX and equities also registered a strong performance during the month.

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Whereas last month featured a number of different market developments in both the US and Europe, June 2017 maintained a far more moderate tone. As markets set into a summer lull, an overall dearth of volatility helped subdue pronounced trading activity. The only event of note was the US Federal Reserve’s rate hike, which helped provide some level of movement across asset classes.

Despite static market conditions for most of the month, ICE’s futures and options business, as measured by its average daily volume (ADV), rebounded sharply to 7.1 million contracts per day. This was a growth of 29.1 percent month-over-month from 5.5 million contracts per day in May 2017 – its highest reading in three years.

This latest figure easily erased a recent decline in this volumes segment, with May 2017 representing a bottoming out for futures and options trading at ICE. Year-to-date, the volumes were also noticeable higher by 26.8 percent from January 2017 and 30.0 percent stronger over a year-over-year basis from June 2016.

The latest results are far and away an improvement over other institution trading installations worldwide, as many venues in the US and UK were unable to mount strong advances relative to last month.

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Commodities volumes stagnate

One component of ICE’s business that did not see a heavy change on a monthly basis was its commodities volume, as the exchange reported ADV of 3.33 million contracts per day in June 2017. This was nearly unchanged month-over-month from 3.30 million contracts per day in May 2017.

Commodities ADV did rise 20.7 percent year-over-year in June 2017 compared with 2.76 million contracts per day during June 2016. Precious metals were the big losers of June, as gold and silver each declined strongly to multi-month lows.

Looking at the group’s equities volumes, ICE’s equity indices ADV during June 2017 stood at 756,000 contracts per day, surging 94.8 percent month-over-month from 388,000 contracts per day in May 2017. This segment has been swinging dramatically in 2017, swaying back and forth off an earlier peek of 712,000 in March.

FX ADV continues momentum higher

Finally, ICE’s foreign exchange and credit volumes during June 2017 did manage to rise to an ADV of 36,000 contracts per day – continuing to bounce off a 2017 low set in April. The latest reading represented an increase of 16.1 percent month-over-month from 31,000 contracts per day in May 2017.

These volumes were unable to best its 2016 counterpart however, ultimately rescinding by 10.0 percent year-over-year from 40,000 contracts per day in June 2016. FX volumes in particular have been affected by pockets of volatility in 2017, which have fluctuated throughout H1 – June’s Fed action as the exception in an otherwise tranquil month of trading.

Looking ahead, the Fed’s potential monetary action in June could also yield some movement across major financial instruments during the month. In addition, markets will be digesting risk events such as the situation in the UK, with FX markets seeing some plausibility of a shakeup in the UK government.

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