The Korea Financial Investment Association announced on April 30 that South Korean investors’ annual global futures trading volume soared from 44.5 million transactions in 2015 to 193.04 million trades last year. The annual volume increased by approximately 10 percent each year and then jumped more than three-fold last year.
This has to do with the three global stock index plunges that occurred last year to add to volatility. Last year, the global stock market was jolted in February, July and October due to factors such as an interest rate hike by the Fed and the Turkish foreign exchange crisis. Under the circumstances, profit seekers using leverage trading flocked into the market. In October last year, individual investors’ global futures trading volume soared 54.5 percent from the previous month.
This is likely to continue this year with issues such as the U.S.-China trade war and Brexit still going on. In addition, the South Korean stock market’s current sluggish movement is adding to the charm of overseas futures.
Individual investors are increasing their investment in Hang Seng Futures in particular. The Hang Seng Futures trading volume rose from 27th to ninth from March 2018 to March 2019. It is a particularly high-volatility and high-risk item and even a 1 percent change leads to substantial profits. KOSPI and Hang Seng Index rose 8 percent and 14 percent this year, respectively.