Derivatives trading activity has risen across a number of global exchanges during August, marking a rare uptick in volumes during this year, and providing Eurex with its first year-on-year volumes increase of 2014.
Traditionally a quieter time of the year for trading, volumes are more subdued in August, however compared with the same period in the previous year activity rose at CME, Eurex and Singapore Exchange, while Liffe’s equity and long-term derivatives segments prospered.
Eurex topped its year-on-year trading activity for the first time in 2014, with average daily volumes of 4.8 million compared with 4.5 million in August 2013.
The rise was largely down to an increase in trading within its equity index segment, with 51.2 million contracts changing hands.
Equity derivatives on Liffe also traded an average daily volume that was 32% more than in August last year.
The figures fall in line with a spike in activity in the underlying equity market, with trading volume by share value across both lit and dark order books 7% higher than in August 2013.
Investors subsequently turned to Eurex’s EURO STOXX 50 index futures and options, along with Liffe’s single stock futures to hedge their risk to the underlying exposure.
Longer term interest rate products also rose on Liffe, and the decline on Eurex was less than in other months this year, suggesting investors are anticipating an interest rate rise in Europe in the coming years as trading moves along the longer end of the curve.
Short-term rates trading remains low however, with an average of 1.12 million contracts on Liffe, down 28% from the previous year.
Generally this year has seen a downward trend in Europe, with trading slowing, particularly in the most active sectors – interest rates and equity derivatives.
In the US, CME posted data of 13m average daily contracts, up 7% from August 2013, while also achieving a record level of open interest at 105.6 million contracts.
Unlike the interest rate trading situation in Europe, CME’s appears to be flourishing with activity in the segment up 20% to 7.3m daily contracts.
The exchange’s daily notional value of cleared OTC interest rate swaps also hit a record US$169 billion during the month.
CBOE’s futures exchange proved that August isn’t always the quietest period by recording its busiest month ever with an all-time high of 4.56 million VIX futures traded.