April 2013 Global Central Bank Foreign Exchange Survey – Spot Higher, Swaps Mixed

Every six months, leading central banks from around the world publish their foreign exchange results survey. The joint banks published

Every six months, leading central banks from around the world publish their foreign exchange results survey. The survey, is a joint effort of foreign exchange committees from US, UK, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Canadian central banks. The twice a year survey, is based on calculating volume results from participating dealers every April and October. The current volume statistics are based on April 2013 FX trading activity. The survey uses volumes from spot, swap, options, and forwards figures.

The survey data mimicked the outstanding, and often record breaking figures we have seen reported from brokers and banks this year. As a result, every FX committee showed strong growth in FX spot volumes, with the Japanese yen being singled out as the main catalyst for the surge in volumes. As expected, Japan saw the highest gains in spot trading as volumes were fueled by activity in the local currency. However, the strong interest in spot trading, did effect other FX products, with Japan seeing a decline in swaps trading.

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The data also showed that the UK continues to hold the dominant position in global FX trading, as participating dealers reported a 37.8% increase in volumes from October 2012, with average daily volumes (ADV) rising to just about $1 trillion (figures based on BIS accounting). In individual currencies, the Bank of England reported that USDJPY volumes rose 129% and accounted for 19.7% of all trading, second only to a 26.6% market share of the EURUSD.

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Among other interesting data, the survey members showed FX options seeing strong growth during April. In the UK, FX options trading increased 71% to $185 billion of ADV, and accounted for over 7% of FX volumes, versus around 5% in October 2012. Overall, the joint figures pointed to total volumes well in excess of $4 trillion per day during April 2013. Later this year, the BIS is scheduled to release its triennial FX volume report. Based on the current trends, we would expect the BIS numbers to show record volumes for the 2013 period with consistent trading above $5 trillion a day. The BIS report will be based on findings that are in part calculates from April and June 2013 data.

Commenting on the figures and 2013 growth, Jake Smith, Head of Communications at CLS Group told Forex Magnates “FX is one of the largest and most liquid markets in the world, and the increases on CLS demonstrate the strong level of activity in the currency markets in Q1 2013, in part as a result of the return of volatility. Just last month CLS recorded its highest daily average for input volumes and values, reflecting the fundamental role it plays in facilitating the evolution of the global FX markets.”

Links to individual country surveys can be found at the conclusion of the New York FED Survey summary report.

Global Central Bank FX Survey (ADV $Billions)
Global Central Bank FX Survey (ADV $Billions)
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