While characterized by uncertainty and challenges, 2021 was a strong year for financial markets. Global economies demonstrated their ability to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, while the rollout of vaccines, accommodative monetary policy and the additional fiscal stimulus were supportive of the market performance.
December saw the last stage of the transition away from LIBOR rates. Over the weekend following close of business Dec. 17, ICE Futures Europe and ICE Clear Europe converted open interest (OI) of 3.7 million lots of Short Sterling and Euroswiss contracts into their RFR equivalents. Through continued innovation and by working closely with our users, SONIA and SARON markets have been established as the leading listed products for managing U.K. and Swiss interest rate risk offered as part of ICE’s wider multi-currency rate product suite. In the new year, business development efforts will be focused on building further on the existing momentum and continuing to deliver innovative solutions for our users in STIRs and beyond.
Activity across the Fixed Income complex was robust in December. Volumes in Euribor futures and options were +5% and +273% on the same period last year, bolstered by rate policy trajectories shifting. Other contracts also benefited from the heightened volatility in markets. Long Gilts futures performed well with average daily volume (ADV) of 191,300 while SOFR futures enjoyed an uptick in volumes tracking at +7% YoY.
Fixed income finished 2021 with ADV of 2.0 million contracts, +6% YoY. OI in the complex was 19.3 million contracts.