SGX’s December Volumes Touch Yearly Lows Amidst Subdued Trading

FX and securities trading were pointed lower heading into year's end.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has released its monthly volumes across its derivatives and commodities segments for December 2017. The latest securities and derivatives volumes cratered during the final month of the year amidst subdued trading that saw one of its lowest readings of 2017.

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Markets experienced a seasonal lull, with low volatility and a lack of market drivers serving as the primary culprit. Additionally, with the Western world observing multiple holidays, markets seemingly ground to a halt by the month’s end, not unlike other global exchanges in the US, Europe, and Asia.

In terms of SGX’s latest turnover figures, the group reported its securities volumes at $14.4 billion (S$19.2 billion) in December 2017. This figure reflected one of SGX’s lowest readings of 2017, well below November 2017 – on a monthly basis this reflected a decline of 32.6 percent as well as -8.8 percent year-over-year from December 2017.

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Of note, SGX saw a total of just 20 trading days, relative to 21 in November. The results are somewhat weaker than other institutional venues in December, nearly all of which saw a consolidation of volumes. The sizeable decline relative to November says more about the strong performance in November than anything else, as SGX’s market statistics were notably higher than other venues last month.

Furthermore, the SGX’s daily average value of trading in the month plunged in December 2017, having yielded just $719.8 million (S$959.9 million). This was a fall of 26.1 percent month-over-month from $975.6 million (S$1.3 billion) in November. Average daily values of trading were however lower by only 4.0 percent year-over-year from December 2016 as well.

SGX’s total market capitalization during December 2017 was reported at $830.0 billion (S$1.1 trillion), also unchanged month-over-month from $830.0 billion (S$1.1 trillion) in November 2017. This figure encompassed the total market cap for all 750 listed companies on the SGX, losing two listings since the previous month.

FX momentum halted

Despite SGX’s FX segment heating up last month, December saw these volumes sapped of any momentum heading into year’s end. Total FX volumes were reported at 937,888 contracts in December 2017, indicating a retreat of 21.8 percent month-over-month from 1.2 million contracts in November, which was amongst the highest readings at SGX in 2017. A lack of movement in the USD or most majors helped cap volumes in December, attributed mostly to the aforementioned factors.

This monthly weakness was a different trend altogether when measured against SGX’s 2016 volumes. FX futures in December saw a strong yearly rise of 70.0 percent year-over-year from December 2016. In terms of specific instruments, the USD/CNH continued with its strong performance in H2 2017, rising to 209,587 contracts in December 2017, up 132.0 percent year-over-year.

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