These are the most traded currencies in the world – including the rand

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has published its latest Triennial Central Bank Survey, which tracks global foreign exchange activity in major markets.

According to the BIS, trading in foreign exchange (FX) markets reached $6.6 trillion per day in April 2019, up from $5.1 trillion three years earlier.

The US dollar retained its dominant currency status, being on one side of 88% of all trades.

The share of trades with the euro on one side expanded somewhat, to 32%. By contrast, the share of trades involving the Japanese yen fell some 5 percentage points, although the yen remained the
third most actively traded currency (on one side of 17% of all trades), the BIS said.

“As in previous surveys, currencies of emerging market economies again gained market share, reaching 25% of overall global turnover. Turnover in the Chinese renminbi, however, grew only slightly faster than the aggregate market, and the renminbi did not climb further in the global rankings.

“It remained the eighth most traded currency, with a share of 4.3%, ranking just after the Swiss franc,” the group said.

South Africa’s rand was ranked as the 18th most traded currency in the world, up from 20th position three years ago. The rand accounted for 1.1% of the average daily turnover recorded in April 2019, compared to 1.0% in 2016.

Over the last 15 years, the rand has been used more in trades, despite having ranked higher in the 2004 and 2007 reports.

In those years, South Africa’s currency ranked 16th and 15th overall, respectively, but only accounted for 0.7% and 0.9% of the daily average turnover tracked over the same periods.

The rand’s trade share is on par with other emerging economies like Russia, India, Brazil and Turkey.

The table below outlines the 20 most traded currencies in the world:

Rank Currency Name Share
1 USD US dollar 88.3%
2 EUR Euro 32.3%
3 JPY Japanese yen 16.8%
4 GBP British pound 12.8%
5 AUD Australian dollar 6.8%
6 CAD Canadian dollar 5.0%
7 CHF Swiss franc 5.0%
8 CNY Chinese yuan (renminbi) 4.3%
9 HKD Hong Kong dollar 3.5%
10 NZD New Zealand dollar 2.1%
11 SEK Swedish krona 2.0%
12 KRW Korean won 2.0%
13 SGD Singapore dollar 1.8%
14 NOK Norwegian krone 1.8%
15 MXN Mexican peso 1.7%
16 INR Indian rupee 1.7%
17 RUB Russian ruble 1.1%
18 ZAR South African rand 1.1%
19 TRY Turkish lira 1.1%
20 BRL Brazilian real 1.1%
Others 7.7%

Total trade share adds up to 200%, as two currencies are involved in trades.


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These are the most traded currencies in the world – including the rand