Major ECNs Volumes Stall in February amid Disappointing Volatility

Trading volumes have been subdued by a lack of direction in the US dollar trade.

Foreign exchange trading electronic communications networks (ECNs) have published their monthly numbers for February confirming what we already knew: the month of February has been relatively slow. GAIN Capital’s GTX, Fastmatch and CBOE’s Hotspot have all reported monthly declines amid lower volatility.


GAIN Capital’s institutional unit GTX marked a decline in February with average daily trading volumes hitting $14.2 billion per day. The figure is lower by 14 percent when compared to January 2017 but higher by 25 percent when compared to February 2016.

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The annual increase is painting a positive picture for the outlook for GAIN Capital’s institutional arm. The company is in the middle between the vibrant growth of Fastmatch and the declining figures at Hotspot.

Competition from its peers has been intensive especially throughout the past year as Fastmatch substantially decreased trading costs for its clients.

Looking at the nominal numbers for the month of February, GTX reports a total of $283.2 billion have been transacted via the company’s ECN, SEF and Swap Dealer facilities. The totals are lower by 22 percent when compared to January and higher by 19 percent year-on-year.


Average daily trading volumes transacted via Fastmatch declined only 2.3 percent in February to $16.6 billion. The result makes the company the most robust venue that has already reported its results for last month, registering the smallest monthly decline amongst its peers.

The company has been outperforming its peers throughout 2016 in terms of growth figures and February is no exception. Year-on-year growth in average daily volumes amounted to almost 50 percent.

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The trend in nominal figures isn’t much different – Fastmatch reports that a total of $331.7 billion have been transacted via the venue throughout February. The number is lower by 7 percent when compared to January and higher by about 42 percent when compared to last year.

The company’s product mix continue to get diversified with the firm adding dark trading venue Midmatch last month, as exclusively reported by Finance Magnates.


During the final month of Hotspot as a subsidiary of BATS Global Markets the trading venue’s results declined month-on-month and year-on-year. Average daily trading volumes amounted to $26.7 billion in February, lower by 10 percent when compared to January and by 18 percent when compared to February 2016.

Hotspot trading volumes have somewhat stabilized in an increasingly competitive landscape, but the company is shy of its former dominance in the FX ECNs space. Starting from today, CBOE Holdings is the new parent company of the venue after the completion of its takeover of BATS Global Markets.

Nominal trading volumes at Hotspot declined in a similar fashion, albeit steeper – the monthly decline was about 17 percent, while the year-on-year drop was 21 percent. The total turnover for the month of February was $539.6 billion.



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