FX Markets

Seeking out trends in the 

World's largest financial market


The foreign exchange (FX), market exists to serve a variety of needs, from companies and institutions purchasing overseas assets denominated in currencies different from their own, to satisfying the foreign currency needs of business travellers and holiday makers. The FX market does not have a centralised marketplace. Instead, it comprises an international network of major banks, each making a market in a range of currencies in a truly internationalised market.

Global daily currency turnover reached to a record $6.6 trillion per day in April 2019, up from $5.1 trillion three years earlier, according to the BIS Triennial Central Bank Survey by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Central banks in 53 jurisdictions participated in the FX survey. They were responsible from collecting data from close to 1,300 banks and other dealers in their jurisdictions and reported national aggregates to the BIS, which calculated the global aggregates.

Data show that the U.S. dollar remains the dominant currency in the vast majority of trades, on one side of 88% of all trades in April 2019. The Euro, on one side of the trade grew slightly to a 32% share of FX trades. In contrast, the Japanese yen declined about 5%; however, the yen remains the third most actively traded currency, being one side 17% of all FX currency trades. Turnover in FX spot markets rose in the 2019 survey, but declined as a share in the global FX activity. At $2.0 trillion per day, the volume of spot trades in April 2019 was some 20% greater than in April 2016, but still below the level recorded in the April 2013 Triennial Survey.

FX trading continues to be concentrated in the largest financial centres. In April 2019, sales desks in five locations - the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, and Japan facilitated 79% of all foreign exchange trading. Trading activity in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong SAR grew by more than the global average.

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