April Survey: FX volumes in North America rise 26% to $966 billion

abdelaziz Fathi

The Foreign Exchange Committee (FXC), a multi-national cooperative conducting a semi-annual survey that includes FX data from leading dealers and banks in North America, today issued its 34th report, which covers April 2021.

Currency derivatives volumes explode in 2015

According to a New York Fed filing, the average daily volume in over-the-counter (OTC) foreign exchange instruments (including spot, outright forward, foreign exchange swap and option transactions) was $966 billion in April 2021. This figure was up 26 percent from the ADV metric in the year before, which was reported at $764 billion.

In addition, the average daily volume was 3 percent higher than the $933 billion reported back in the October 2020 survey.

This semi-annual FX survey is taken every six months to provide the market with frequent information on the size and structure of the FX markets in their respective regions.

The uptick in the FX turnover in North America was broad-based and was reported across most currency pairs, instrument types, counterparty types and execution methods.

One of the primary culprits of the recent rise in April 2021 was attributed to a notable increase in swaps turnover, which came in at $357 billion and thus gained nearly 42 percent since the survey of April 2020.

This was accompanied by another rise in turnover across spot trades by a factor of 18.3 percent from the previous year, which came in at $384 billion. Additionally, the average daily turnover in OTC options climbed by 21 percent in April 2021.

Meanwhile, the forwards volume also ticked up by 19 percent, or $29 billion to $183 billion.

In terms of specific FX pairs across the spot market, EUR/USD turnover rose 14 percent in the six months to April 2021, having yielded $97 billion per day compared to $85 billion in October 2020. USD/JPY was the next most commonly traded pair, totaling $55 billion, which is up 19 percent on a year-over-year basis from $46 billion.

Rounding out the top three trading pairs was the GBP/USD, which saw a 15 percent fall in daily volume from $38.6 billion in the 2020 survey, coming in at $32.8 billion.

The Foreign Exchange Committee (FXC) surveys provide market participants with developments in the North America FX market. In conducting the survey, the Federal Reserve of New York provides technical assistance in collecting and processing the data of respective respondents.

Similar surveys are also carried out in the UK, Singapore, Canada and Australia.

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