By Katie Martin and Josie Cox
LONDON--U.K. currency-trading volumes rose by 7% in the six months to April, a semiannual survey released by the Bank of England showed Monday.
Overall trading volumes handled by banks in the U.K. stood at $2.402 trillion a day, the central bank said, "though activity in most products remained well below April 2013 levels."
Despite the pickup since October, currencies foreign-exchange industry insiders report drab conditions in the once vibrant currencies market. Citigroup Inc, the world's largest currencies-dealing bank, noted in its research Monday that "FX volatility has plummeted" over the past six months, although the bank envisages a pickup from here.
"With very little happening in the FX market, there is less flow going through market makers," said Saeed Amen, founder of quantitative analysis firm The Thalesians. Many strategists have said that they don't expect markets to pick up until the monetary policy in different major economies diverges markedly.
Dealer banks have already started feeling the strain from sleepy market conditions. For the 10 largest global investment banks, trading revenue in the fixed-income, currencies and commodities units that comprise foreign-exchange trading plunged 15.7% in the first three months of the year from the same period a year earlier, according to data from research consultancy Coalition.
The U.K. is the world's largest currencies-trading hub, snagging around 40% of global flows, double the scale of volumes passing through New York, according to benchmark studies by the Bank for International Settlements.
Write to Katie Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org and Josie Cox at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 28, 2014 09:37 ET (13:37 GMT)
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