LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - Average daily foreign exchange trading volumes rocketed 18% year-on-year in March to a record $2.2 trillion, CLS said in a statement on Thursday, as panic over the coronavirus sent currency prices moving wildly.
ClS, a major settler of trades in the foreign exchange market, said five of the 50 largest all-time daily spot volumes came in March, with monthly record volumes in euro/dollar, dollar/yen, sterling/dollar and the U.S. dollar against the Swiss franc and Canadian currency.
Forex trading volumes are closely linked to levels of volatility, as more dramatic market moves encourage more trading.
"The multiple nationwide lockdowns had a significant impact on investor sentiment which led to sharp stock market movements in both directions," said CLS's Head of Information Services, Masami Johnstone.
"As a result, the market saw significant demand for dollars as a safe haven. The exchange rates of those currencies that CLS settles against the dollar also experienced the most significant monthly movements of the last decade, an average absolute daily percentage change of 1.14%, almost double the previous monthly high."
On a monthly basis, FX turnover was up 21% from February 2020. (Reporting by Tommy Reggiori Wilkes; Editing by Saikat Chatterjee)