London FX volume rises to a record $3 trillion, BoE survey shows

abdelaziz Fathi

Daily foreign exchange trading volumes out of London have climbed by 24 percent from the year prior, to $2.98 trillion in April 2021, the Bank of England said in its latest triennial report on the FX market.

The figure is the highest recorded since the survey began in 2004 and bested the previous record of $2.86 trillion in April 2019. This also represents a 16% increase on the $2.58 trillion turnover recorded in October 2020

The results of the latest survey also confirm that London remains the world’s biggest currency trading hub, responsible for nearly 40 percent of global volumes, with daily turnover more than triple that of its nearest rival, New York.

The uptick in volumes traded was across the board for all major currencies, according to the survey, perhaps a reflection of rising market volatility. Daily turnover in the EUR/USD, the most-traded currency pair, rose to a record $913.6 billion per day, up 17% on October 2020 survey results and 27% from a year earlier.

GBPUSD turnover also jumped by +18 percent, compared with October 2020, posting an all-time high for average daily volume at $385 billion.

Meanwhile, USD/JPY turnover increased in the six months through April 2021, having yielded a record $334.3 billion per day from $266.2 billion in October 2020, and also remains ranked the third most traded currency pair in London.

The survey also broke down volume by currency pair and showed that EUR/USD accounted for 30.4 percent of trading volumes. This was followed by GBP/USD, which accounted for 13.8 percent of volumes.

The 28 largest banks active in the UK forex market participated in the survey, which showed that most FX products saw a notable advance since the last count.

Earlier today, Foreign Exchange Committee (FXC) reported its semi-annual survey that includes FX data from leading dealers and banks in North America. Per a New York Fed filing, average daily volume in over-the-counter (OTC) foreign exchange instruments was $966 billion in April 2021, up 26 percent from the ADV figure in the year before.

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