An extraordinary time
We are living in an extraordinary time. Many of us will look back on this period and reflect on the things done and the role we played.
ASX would like to acknowledge all our customers and thank you for your responsiveness, liquidity provision and commitment during this challenging period. Together we have delivered reliable and resilient services without interruption. While ASX operates at the heart of Australia’s financial markets we do so with the vital support of our participants.
As the operator of critically important infrastructure, ASX has facilitated price discovery and the exchange and clearing of risk. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant volatility in global interest rate markets, but the ASX Bond Futures markets continued to operate effectively and at the tightest spreads. New records were set in March 2020, with ASX 24 derivatives trades up 84%; futures intraday margins up 130%; and cleared futures trades up 143%. The BBSW benchmark was bolstered by an increase in Prime Bank NCD trading, which delivered one of the most liquid markets of the crisis to date. During this period, the BBSW benchmark remained robust, underpinned by an average of $2 billion in transaction volume per day. ASX Collateral facilitated flows generated by the substantial increase in RBA Open Market Operations (OMO), delivering a new record balance of $37.5 billion, up 30% on the previous high.
This unprecedented activity was managed, for the most part, under full activation of ASX’s business continuity plan (BCP), with 95% of our staff working from home. We know that many of our participants and customers are operating under their BCPs too. The extraordinary performance to deliver a collaborative approach over the last several weeks, despite the social distance, is a credit to the whole industry.
We thank you all.