Foreign exchange trading volumes across Refinitiv Matching and FXall platforms dropped in May 2020 by more than 10 percent from the previous month, the company said on Wednesday. This was second weak monthly turnover in a row as corona-led volatility that sparked record trading in March has been losing steam.
Spot FX volumes at Refinitiv, partly owned by Thomson Reuters, held up much better than other volumes, which include swaps and options.
Turnover in all products including cash, forwards, swaps, options and non-deliverable forwards was reported at $360 billion in May, the lowest reading in two years. This figure was down by ten percent from $407 billion in April 2020, six percent lower than $383 billion in May 2019, and also reflects a 33 percent drop from March’s metrics.
The former Financial and Risk business of Thomson Reuters reported in March an average daily $540 billion, the highest in its volumes data going back to February 2013.
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Of the May’s $360 billion figure, $74 billion was FX spot, representing a -6 percent fall over the monthly interval when compared to $79 billion in April 2020. Over a yearly basis, the spot turnover also failed to outpace its counterpart of May 2019, which came at $86 billion.
Refinitiv automates access to FX swaps
Declining activity in other transaction types – including forwards, swaps, options and non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) was the main force behind the fall, having clocked in their worst month since November 2019. The figure averaged $292 billion daily, lower -11 percent from $328 billion the previous month.
Refinitiv’s figures reflect the trend observed in the monthly figures from many of the major trading platforms which have seen record-breaking volumes in the first quarter before turning to suffer lackluster activity. However, given its position as a major trading hub for the wholesale market, the financial data vendor provides one of the most comprehensive snapshots of activity.
Refinitiv has recently enabled automated access to its Forwards Matching MTF venue as the market demand moves to trade more volume in FX Swaps electronically.
The new product enables traders to leverage a GUI or API connection that replaces the manual processes that exist in the FX Swaps world today, all embedded into a MiFID II compliant offering.