SGX forex futures, commodity trading hit record volumes in December

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Trading activity in Singapore Exchange (SGX) currency futures and commodities spiked to record highs in December, the bourse operator said on Friday (Jan 10).

For the month of December, total foreign exchange (FX) futures volume on SGX rose 18 per cent year on year (y-o-y) to 2.07 million contracts.

SGX USD/CNH (US dollar and offshore Chinese yuan) futures climbed 20 per cent to about 787,000 contracts from a year ago, hitting a record during the overnight T+1 session on Dec 13.

Meanwhile, SGX INR/USD (Indian rupee and US dollar) futures volume jumped 18 per cent y-o-y to 1.25 million contracts during the month, with both volume and open interest setting new single-day highs on Dec 18, SGX noted.

In addition, with the US and China making progress towards a phase one trade deal, trading in commodities, including iron ore, was also bolstered. Total iron ore derivatives cleared on SGX surged 29 per cent to 139.1 million tonnes in December from a year ago, lifting the full year tally to a record of almost two billion tonnes.

"Asia's stock markets received positive news on several fronts in December, including the easing of US-China trade tensions, a UK election result seen to eliminate the risk of a hard Brexit, as well as the Federal Reserve reaffirming its dovish stance on interest rates heading into 2020," SGX explained in its monthly report.

In Singapore, total securities market turnover value rose 20 per cent y-o-y to $20.2 billion in December, as securities daily average value (SDAV) climbed 15 per cent y-o-y to $960 million.

For 2019, the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) ended at 3,222.8, generating a 9.4 per cent total return of price appreciation and dividend payouts. STI stocks that posted month-on-month SDAV gains in December included Dairy Farm International, CapitaLand, UOL and Thai Beverage, SGX pointed out.

Overall, most stock sectors also posted gains in December, with global economic indicators supporting a firmer growth outlook for 2020.

According to SGX, Reits (real estate investment trusts) were the main beneficiaries of lower interest rates in 2019. With multiple mergers, key index inclusions, placements and rights issues totalling $7.7 billion, Reits and property trusts contributed 24 per cent of the SDAV for 2019.

Separately, market turnover value of exchange-traded funds rose 24 per cent to $152 million in December from the previous month, on the back of the growing use of robo-advisory services, added SGX.

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