Electronic brokerage firm Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR) said its trading volumes rose in December from a month earlier, an indication that investor confidence in the financial market is rebounding after having been fairly mixed in the third quarter.
Rising volatility has improved the trading volumes, with December data showing the second monthly rise in a mixed fourth quarter. But it is not clear whether that will be enough to accelerate the revenue growth after the company reported a modest increase in the third quarter, or how it could affect margins for the multi-asset broker and market-maker.
During December 2018, the number of DARTs was reported at 953,000, a rise of five percent month-over-month from 905,000 in November 2018. Over a year-on-year basis, Interactive Brokers saw a more upbeat performance in its DARTs with December’s figure jumping approximately 36 percent relative to 699,000 reported in December 2017.
In terms of equity balance in customers’ accounts during December 2018, the figure totaled $128.4 billion, down by six percent on a monthly basis from $136.2 billion the previous month. However, Interactive Brokers bested its December 2017 equivalent, having notched a three percent advance relative to the figures of the prior year.
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Interactive Brokers’ ending client margin loan balances also came in at $26.9 billion in December 2018, lower five month-on-month from $28.3 billion in November 2018. Across a yearly interval, the figure also moved lower by nine percent when weighed against $29.5 billion in December 2017.
Business highlights, according to the company’s press release, also showed that a total of 598,000 customer accounts were active at IB during December 2018. The figure was higher by one percent month-on-month when compared to November 2018 (592.600 accounts), and 24.0 percent higher year-on-year from 483,500 accounts.
On average, in December 2018 Interactive Brokers charged clients commission fees of $3.75 per order, including exchange, clearing and regulatory fees, with the key products metrics coming out at $2.19 for stocks, $5.18 for equity options and $6.16 for futures orders.
Last month, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based company appointed John Damgard to serve as a director of the firm, effective from the beginning of December.