FXCM’s Trading Volumes Are Down! Is Everything Okay?

For those of you not in the know, FXCM is one of the biggest brokers in the forex trading industry. Last week, it rounded up its trading metrics for September. Let’s take a quick look at them!

fxcm-stats.png
Source: FXCM

In September 2012, retail trading volume was up by 12% compared to August at $304 billion. However, comparing that figure to last year, volume was down by 18%.

We also see the same trend looking at the average daily figures. There were 363,031 trades per day on average which is 13% higher than August but is 25% lower from last year. On the other hand, tradeable accounts dropped by 3% from August but rose by 18% from September 2011.

FXCM’s institutional arm saw even bigger contractions. For instance, customer trading volume was down by 8% from August and lower by 64% from September 2011 at $46 billion last month. There were also fewer trades taken on a daily basis averaging only at 5,688 per day in September 2012 compared to the average of 5,921 in August and 22,762 in September last year.

According to the broker, the figures reflect the drop in market volatility which is now said to be at its multi-year lows. However, our friends over at FXCM are happy with the overall growth in its retail business from August to September. They seem hopeful that with the summer season having ended in August, we could soon see trading activity pick up too!

The drop in its institutional business is said to be because banks are taking fewer trades and in lesser quantities. If this is true, we could see a similar trend in the reports of other institutional brokers when they release their stats in the coming days.

Should we be concerned about FXCM’s figures? I don’t think so. As I reported last week, the combined equity of the broker’s retail clients grew by over $200 million in the past few months. To top it off, it scored the biggest excess capital from July to August among the 16 CFTC-registered brokers indicating that FXCM is very well-capitalized and is unlikely to leave its clients hanging.

I’m curious to see if other FX brokers would post monthly gains in September though. I’ll be sure to let you know once their figures are out!


  • Reza Fahlevi

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