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Interactive Brokers operational metrics indicate market was unchanged in August

Sep 03 2014
Interactive Brokers, one of the biggest and most established US brokerage companies, reports flat metrics for August compared to previous month.
IB is one of the biggest brokers worldwide. The company is renowned with its very big portfolio of trading instruments including forex, stocks, futures and equity options. The company had 269 000 active accounts in August. This number more or less allows for using their operational metrics for gaining insight into the state of the market.
The latter seems to be unchanged compared to the last 2-3 months. If we are to describe it with one world it would be lethargic. This is mainly due to the current low volatility exhibited by the vast majority of trading instruments be it stocks, currency pairs or futures.

The drawback of using an American broker metrics for gaining insights into financial markets is that CFDs are prohibited in US. CFDs, however, are common and largely used trading instrument in all the other parts of the world. Anyway, Interactive Brokers main metrics are:


- 495 thousand Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs), 5% higher than prior year and 6% lower than prior month.

- Ending customer equity of $55.7 billion, 40% higher than prior year and 4% higher than prior month.

- Ending customer margin loan balances of $16.6 billion, 39% higher than prior year and 4% higher than prior month.

- Ending customer credit balances of $29.5 billion, 24% higher than prior year and 4% higher than prior month.

- 269 thousand customer accounts, 17% higher than prior year and 1% higher than prior month.

- 421 annualized average cleared DARTs per customer account.

- Average commission per cleared customer order of $4.30 including exchange, clearing and regulatory fees. Key products were stocks, futures and equity options.

Click table to enlarge it.
It is important to note that Forex trading is not the most used instrument among IB clients. We may cite low volatility as the underlying reason for that trend. Many traders are seeking to capitalize on other instruments than currency pairs these days.
Judging from the IB's numbers the market in August remained flat. This may change in September with some major currency pairs like GBPJPY, EURGBP, and USDJPY showing big movement the first days of the month. For example, the GBPUSD has fallen nearly 150 yesterday (02.09.2014) the most likely reason being the unpredictable outcome of the Scottish Independence referendum which will be held on 18 September. As of now the polls show there is only 6% difference between public opinion on whether Scotland must stay or leave the United Kingdom.
TAGS: Interactive brokers  august 2014  operation metrics 

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