New Trading Features Help Interactive Brokers’ Volumes Rebound

Rising volatility also improved the trading volumes, which hit its lowest levels in six months earlier in October.

The electronic brokerage segment at Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR), which deals with clearance and settlement of trades for individual and institutional clients globally, today reported a mild rebound in trading volumes for the month ending November 2019.

Rising volatility has improved the trading volumes, which hit its lowest levels in six months earlier in October. During November 2019, the number of DARTs was reported at 822,000, a rise of three percent month-over-month from 798,000 in the month prior. Over a year-on-year basis, however, Interactive Brokers saw weak performance in its DARTs, with November’s figure dropping approximately nine percent relative to 907,000 reported in November 2018.

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The Greenwich, Connecticut-based company has recently offered investors the ability to buy and sell fractional shares of almost any US stock. Charles Schwab was the first among US major brokers to roll out the fractional trading, where the brokerage buys the stock and trades fractions of the equity to end clients.

Earlier in October, Interactive Brokers cut trading commissions to zero, setting off a war among brokerages that led almost all competitors to drop fees on virtually the entire exchange-traded products later in the next month.

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Back to IB business highlights

In terms of equity balance in customers’ accounts by the end of November 2019, the figure totaled $167.3 billion, up by 23 percent year-on-year from $136.2 billion. Interactive Brokers also bested its October 2019 equivalent, having notched a three percent advance relative to the figures of the prior month, which came in at $162.1 billion.

Interactive Brokers’ ending client margin loan balances also came in at $56.7 billion, including $2.3 billion in insured bank deposit sweeps. This figure was 12 percent higher than the year before and about even with the previous month.

Business highlights, according to the company’s press release, also showed that a total of 681,000 customer accounts were active at IB during November 2019. The figure was higher by one percent month-on-month when compared to October 2019 (673,000 accounts), and 15 percent higher year-on-year from 592,600 accounts.

On average, in November 2019 Interactive Brokers charged clients commission fees of $3.57 per order, including exchange, clearing and regulatory fees. This figure is almost unchanged from $3.56 in October, with the key product metrics coming out at $2.32 for stocks, $5.15 for equity options, and $5.60 for futures orders.

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