London Extends Lead in Global FX Volumes; Hits New Records

The uptick in volumes traded was across the board for all major currencies, perhaps a reflection of rising market volatility.

Daily foreign exchange trading volumes out of London have climbed by 12 percent from the year prior, to $2.86 trillion in April 2019, the Bank of England said in its latest triennial report on the FX market.

The figure is the highest recorded since the survey began in 2004 and bested the previous record of $2.72 trillion set in April 2018. The results of the latest survey also confirm that London remains the world’s biggest currency trading hub, responsible for nearly 40 percent of global volumes, with daily turnover more than triple that of its nearest rival, New York.

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The uptick in volumes traded was across the board for all major currencies, according to the survey, perhaps a reflection of rising market volatility. Daily turnover in the EUR/USD, the most-traded currency pair, rose by $124 billion or 18 percent to $831 billion per day, according to the survey.

London dominance continues

GBPUSD turnover also jumped by +16 percent, compared with October 2018, posting a record high average daily volume at $376 billion.

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Meanwhile, USD/CNY turnover increased in the six months through April 2019, having yielded a record $78.3 billion per day, and also remains ranked the 7th most traded currency pair in London ahead of EURGBP.

The survey also broke down volume by currency pair and showed that EUR/USD accounted for 29.1 percent of trading volumes, up from 27.7 percent in October 2018. This was followed by GBP/USD, which accounted for 13.1 percent of volumes, up from 12.6 percent in the previous survey.

The 28 largest banks active in the UK forex market participated in the survey, which showed that most FX products saw a notable advance since the last survey.

Earlier today, Foreign Exchange Committee (FXC) reported its a semi-annual survey that includes FX data from leading dealers and banks in North American. Per a New York Fed filing, average daily volume in over-the-counter (OTC) foreign exchange instruments was $810.9 billion in April 2019, down 18 percent from the ADV figure in the year before.

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