Daily FX volumes hit $5.3 tln in Jan after SNB removes franc cap

Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:37am EST
 
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LONDON Feb 18 (Reuters) - The dramatic moves on the Swiss franc on Jan. 15 drove the average daily value of the global market in foreign exchange back above $5.3 trillion last month, data showed on Wednesday, fuelling optimism among major trading platforms.

Settlement company CLS said the average daily value of trades reached $5.31 trillion in January, up from $4.87 trillion in December and $5.29 trillion a year earlier.

Separately, Thomson Reuters, parent of Reuters News and one of the main venues for trading in a number of major currencies, said its volumes rose to $398 billion a day in January.

Its main peer, ICAP-owned EBS, which dominates spot trade in the franc as well as the dollar against the euro and yen, said earlier this month volume rose 48 percent in January compared with a year ago, averaging the equivalent of $130 billion a day.

"Currency trading activity increased markedly during the first month of the year," CLS Chief Executive David Puth said. "The SNB's decision to remove a currency ceiling against the euro, and subsequent trading activity, was a primary factor behind the 16 percent rise."

The rises all come in the context of a collapse in market volatility in 2013 and the first half of last year, which reduced volumes sharply. Trading platforms have welcomed the recovery of speculative activity since the middle of 2014.

"This was a strong start to 2015," said Phil Weisberg, global head of FX at Thomson Reuters. "Volatility was comparatively high in the market, due principally to eurozone fears, and volumes were healthy as asset managers were assembling their hedging and investing strategies for the year." (Reporting by Patrick Graham; Editing by Anirban Nag and David Holmes)