ICE’s Volumes Leap Higher in September, Led by FX and Equities Segments

FX and equities volumes threatened 2017 highs as ICE saw a bounce across every volumes segment during the month.

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a global network of exchanges and clearing houses, has reported its trading volumes for September 2017. Despite an uptick in volatility, futures and options volumes incurred a sizable plunge, part of a broader pullback of volumes across the institutional space.

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While markets never exactly took off this summer, September represented a more normalized period for markets. A combination of big money coming back into the markets as well as wide swings in the USD and heightened scrutiny of the US Federal Reserve helped kindle volumes.

ICE’s futures and options business, as measured by its average daily volume (ADV), surged in September 2017 to 6.4 million contracts per day. This represented a gain of 38.9 percent month-over-month from just 4.6 million contracts per day in August 2017 – the latest reading is the third highest figure of 2017, peaking back in June this year.

September 2017’s aggregated futures and options volumes were however higher by 20.8 percent from September 2016 over a year-over-year basis relative to 5.3 million contracts per day. These results are also on par with other institutional trading installations worldwide, as many exchanges in the US and UK saw rebounding volumes vs. the month prior.

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Commodities volumes rebound

Despite a recent downturn in commodities volumes over the past three months, ICE registered a healthy growth on a monthly basis. In particular, the exchange reported an ADV of 3.2 million contracts per day in September 2017. This was higher by 14.3 percent month-over-month from 2.8 million contracts per day in August 2017.

This gain in commodities volume was due to a retreat in precious metals prices, which retreated off multi-month highs during September, in parallel with a USD resurgence.

Looking at the group’s equities volumes, ICE’s equity indices ADV during September 2017 exploded to 696,000 contracts per day, rising 120.3 percent month-over-month from 316,000 contracts per day in August 2017. The reading was the highest of the year since June 2017, as markets continued to move on multiple global events.

Equities were ICE’s best performing segment in September, though this area has largely been the most volatile in 2017 – the year has been characterized by periodic plunges and rises in ICE’s equities volume making this space its most dynamic segment.

FX ADV sees momentum snapped

As mentioned previously, a rebound in the USD helped stimulate volumes in September – nowhere was this trend more evident than in its FX volumes. ICE’s foreign exchange and credit volumes scored its highest reading since March 2017, coming in at 45,000 contracts per day during September 2017. This was good for a gain of 60.7 percent on a month-over-month basis from 28,000 contracts per day in August 2017.

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