Open Trading sees record volumes at MarketAxess

Monthly trading volumes on the Open Trading platform set a new record in January, shortly after reaching a new quarterly record at the end of the 2018.

Fixed income electronic trading specialist MarketAxess has said its Open Trading platform reached a new monthly record in January, shortly after reporting record quarterly activity at the end of last year.

Open Trading set a new monthly trading record of $45.5 billion in January, while overall trading volumes at MarketAxess also set a new record of $176.5 billion in the first month of the year. Open Trading’s monthly record follows its quarterly record, set in the fourth quarter of 2018, where volumes surged 96% year-on-year to $118 million.

“The record January trading volumes are a great sign that market participants are finding increased value from the platform in a variety of market environments,” said Rick McVey, CEO of MarketAxess. “Market conditions reversed in January from the fourth quarter with investors increasing exposure to credit products and credit spreads narrowing,”

Open Trading is an all-to-all platform that allows buy- and sell-side firms to connect anonymously through a central network to improve liquidity and reduce transaction costs. Speaking to investors on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, Rick McVey, CEO of MarketAxess, said that Open Trading volumes grew rapidly across all four core products as dealer and investor clients “embrace the platform” as an important source of new liquidity.

Also on the earnings call was industry veteran Chris Concannon, who recently departed Cboe Global Markets and was appointed chief operating officer at MarketAxess. He told investors that the fourth quarter was challenging for clients in credit markets, which is one of the reasons market participants were leaning on the Open Trading platform.

“That execution quality that MarketAxess is delivering is an opportunity to drive more business to the company’s platform as clients become more educated about the superior execution quality. The prices that clients are achieving are setting the standard for best execution in the fixed income market,” Concannon said.

New monthly records were also set in US high-grade, US high-yield, emerging markets and Eurobond trading volumes at MarketAxess in January.