Daily UK fx volumes fall 5 pct in 6 months to Oct-BoE survey

Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:14pm IST

* BoE data shows fall in UK's total FX turnover

* Average daily turnover at lowest since Oct 2010

* Trading share of U.S. dollar, commodity currencies rise

LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Average daily turnover in UK foreign exchange markets fell 5 percent in the six months to October 2012 to hit its lowest since October 2010, a Bank of England survey showed on Tuesday.

Average daily turnover of spot, outright forwards, non-deliverable forwards, swaps, FX options and currency swaps totalled $1.919 trillion, down from $2.014 trillion in April and a 7 percent drop from the same period in 2011, the BoE said.

Spot FX activity fell 6 percent to $678 billion per day from $719 billion in April.

The daily turnover in FX swaps dropped 4 percent to $920 billion per day, while FX options trading fell to $102 billion per day from $114 billion in April.

The results chime with data from the likes of FX settlement system CLS Bank and the two major electronic trading systems - EBS, owned by ICAP Plc, and Thomson Reuters - which all revealed a drop in volume in the second half of 2012.

Sharply lower volumes hurt banks' currency trading activities late last year, due partly to the European Central Bank's actions to calm the euro zone crisis which drove down volatility and partly to a slowdown in global growth.

According to the BoE's survey of 30 financial institutions, trading in the U.S. dollar increased to 87.6 percent from 86.6 percent in April. There the total sum of the percentage shares totals 200 percent not 100 percent as two currencies are involved in each transaction.

The euro, the second most actively traded currency, saw its share dip to 41.7 percent from 43.4 percent.

Trade in the British pound, Japanese yen and Swiss franc all fell, while trading rose in growth- and commodity-linked currencies, including the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars and the Mexican peso.

Data from FX settlement system CLS Bank, which was also released on Tuesday, showed global average traded values in spot, swaps and forwards were down 7 percent from a year earlier. But it rose 4 percent in October to $1.713 trillion from April's $1.65 trillion.

The BoE data was released as part of a global semi-annual survey of FX turnover.

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