After getting hit by the holiday lull in December and paling in comparison to the cryptocurrency market, the forex industry was off to a roaring, record-breaking start to 2018.
GTX, the institutional arm of GAIN Capital, reported total monthly volume of $305.0 billion for January. This translates to average daily volume (ADV) of $13.9 billion, surpassing the high of $13.3 billion reported in September last year.
Forex ECN FastMatch recorded an impressive 33% gain in volumes to $20.8 billion ADV last month, chalking up its third best month next to September and May 2017. This also marked a decent rebound from the average of $17.1 billion ADV for Q4 last year.
Institutional forex ECN Cboe FX Markets (formerly Hotspot FX) also set a record $42.6 billion ADV in January, beating the company’s best-ever month of $38.2 billion in September 2014. In addition, the firm also reported its highest-ever trading daily volume of $68 billion in January 25.
The breakdown of currency pair volume from Cboe FX Markets reveals that EUR/USD was still the most actively traded one 26.2% or $8.78 billion of total trading, followed by USD/JPY at 14.7% or $4.92 billion.
Over in Tokyo, the TFX reported a 20% month-over-month gain in contracts on its Click365 platform.
Looking at the breakdown of pairs traded reveals that EUR/USD had the strongest monthly gain in volumes, followed by USD/JPY. Interestingly enough, AUD/USD also reported a big increase of 51.6% in volumes while EUR/JPY wasn’t too far behind with 51.3%.This overall pickup in volumes could be attributed to several factors, which include monetary policy expectations (ECB, Fed, and BOJ) and actual changes, the steady slide in cryptocurrencies (Ha, take that, bitcoin!), and rebound in commodities like crude oil, among many others.
Geopolitical risks such as the coalition talks in Germany and a few positive Brexit updates were also in play for the most part of the month, reviving some of the excitement in the forex market.