2009 spelt retrenchment for the world’s established futures exchanges – but a commodities boom eased the pain. Tom Osborn picks out the bright spots from the laggards in the global recovery.
What a difference a year makes. If 2008 demonstrated the
industry’s resilience in the face of crisis and
its resourcefulness to adapt to changing investor demands, 2009
marked the inevitable bite-back of a vastly diminished appetite
Headline volumes, however, tell only half the story.
Were it not for the exceptional performance of certain asset
classes, and indeed certain contracts, the industry would
surely have recorded a much steeper year on year decline.
As things stand, total volumes make the yearly performance
look relatively flat. While the number of contracts traded
declined from 17.6bn to 17bn, a fall of 3.4%, 2009 was still
the industry’s second strongest year on record,
dwarfing even 2007’s total of 15.5bn.
An unprecedented rise in volatility was far from bad news
for all market segments. The commodities boom continued apace,
with metals, agricultural stocks and softs all enjoying record
volumes. The sector enjoyed a record year, with total volumes
rising 16% from 1.7bn to 1.9bn.
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