Asia overtakes US as world's top futures hub

Asia overtakes US as world's top futures hub

Asia overtook North America as the world's top futures and options market by volume last year as Asian exchanges saw their volumes surpass the levels traded in the US and Canada for the first time.

Asian exchanges' trading volumes rose 20% in 2015 to reach a regional total of 7 billion contracts while their US and Canadian peers saw trading fall 6% to 6.9 billion lots last year, according to Euromoney TradeData.

The top Asian exchanges were China's Dalian Commodity Exchange, which was up 31% to 1.1 billion contracts, the Zhengzou Commodity Exchange, where volumes went up 26.5% to a little over 920 million contracts, and the Korea Exchange, which saw a 16.8% increase to 783 million trades, Euromoney TradeData showed.

The top North American markets were the CME Group, which was flat on the year at 1.7 billion, CBOT, which was similarly level for the year at 1.2 billion lots, and the CBOE Holdings where volumes fell slightly to 1.1 billion contracts.

Europe saw a slight increase in trade volumes, with the region up 4% on 2014 to 3.1 billion contracts.

The fall in US and Canadian trading was partly due to a slump in US options where the market shrank 2.9% last year despite volatility, as reported by FOW.  

Euromoney TradeData showed global foreign exchange derivatives up 22% to 2.5 billion contracts compared with 2014. The FX market was led by Brazil's BM&F BOVESPA, which increased its trade volume 19% to 130 million, the Moscow Exchange, the world's largest FX market, which was up 18% to 915 million and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where trading rose 8% to 219 million.

Last year's FX volumes were closely followed by the energy and commodities sector which saw trading increase 19% compared to 2014.

The sector and the world's fastest growing market was Vienna's Central European Gas Hub (CEGH) which was up more than 500% on the previous year. 

The global fixed income futures and options market saw trading fall less than 1% compared with 2014 while equity trading volumes rose 14%.