IS Risk Analytics' View From the Desk - February 2021
February volumes were in line January’s totals and with 2020 monthly averages. Profits, on the other hand, were much improved over January’s subpar figures. Gold was the primary driver of profitability as the majority of retail clients were long into sharp downward movements early and late in the month. GBP pairs were also profitable for brokers as they broke from January ranges. Unlike other instruments, indices were primarily range bound and therefore not a consistent source of profits for most brokers.
*Average Daily Volume represents the daily volume from ISRA customers for each day of the month divided by the average daily volume for the month. Each day is represented as a percent of the average.
** Average Daily B Book PnL represents the daily B Book PnL from ISRA customers for each day of the month divided by the average daily B Book PnL for the month. Each day is represented as a percent of the average.
Source: IS Risk Analytics Database. Past Performance is not necessarily indicative of future results
The Biden administration has still not made changes to the tariff structure put in place against China by the prior administration and is said to be re-examining the phase 1 trade deal the two countries reached in early 2020. China has not to this point purchased the required amount of American goods stipulated in the agreement.
The strengthening of lockdowns in the fourth quarter of 2020 resulted in the European economy contracting after it had shown growth in the third quarter of the year. Many of those lockdown measures remain in effect which could lead to slow start to 2021. In addition, the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations in Europe has been plagued by manufacturing and distribution challenges, and that will likely also delay the continent’s recovery from the pandemic’s economic effects.
The US Congress continues to work on finalizing and the Biden administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The plan originally included a $15 minimum wage provision, but that item will not be included due to the Senate procedure being used to pass the bill. There is also building momentum for limiting the scope of direct payment checks to Americans. The fate of the package remains unclear currently.