Online trading platform IG Group sees volumes spike as pandemic fuels volatility

(Reuters) – Online trading platform IG Group (IGG.L) said on Friday client trading volumes surged in the fourth quarter, driven by high levels of market volatility since the last week of February due to the coronavirus crisis.

Revenue in the first 36 trading days of the 61 in the final quarter ending May was around 173 million pounds ($213 million), the company said, compared with the 139.8 million pounds for the third quarter.

“The high levels of volatility have persisted through March and into April, and the Group has continued to see high levels of client trading activity and further increases in the number of active clients,” the company said.

Market volatility has been fuelled by fears of an impending global recession as strict restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus have brought major economies to a near halt.

IG Group’s rival Plus500 (PLUSP.L) nearly doubled its customer base in the first quarter of 2020, driving a six-fold rise in revenue, while another player CMC Markets (CMCX.L) pointed to the growing popularity of its mobile app among traders working from home.

IG Group said it expects to pay its staff higher bonuses. The charge for variable remuneration in fiscal 2020 is expected to be around 42 million pounds, compared with 25 million pounds it paid out last year.

($1 = 0.8116 pounds)

Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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