ICAP EBS reports FX volumes up 7% in April

A nice month for EBS, after a slowdown in March.

ICAP’s Forex ECN unit EBS reported April FX trading volumes at $128.3 billion (average daily volume for the month), up 7% from March and up 17% from last year April. After two strong months to start the year, things slowed down at EBS in March, but picked up nicely again in April. EBS’s nice increase in FX volumes in April contrast with the CME Group’s report of a surprising 16% decline in its FX futures volumes during the month.

EBS has been taking some drastic steps lately to try and reclaim its #1 position in the Forex ECN market, as well as to ward off competition from upstarts such as Tradition’s ParFX which launched last month. We recently reported that EBS is making a major change to the way it handles incoming orders — having incoming orders batched and then executed in a random manner, instead of the traditional “FIFO” first-in first-out method. This change is aimed at removing advantages that high-speed, high-volume, high frequency traders have in trading markets such as FX. EBS also recently went to half-pip pricing, from decimal pricing, for basically the same reason.

We’ll know more about April volumes in the coming days, as the other Forex ECNs report (Thomson Reuters, FXall, Hotspot FX). Stay tuned to LeapRate…

For more on the global FX market see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.

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