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Press Releases and Newsletters 2014
Marshall Bailey, global ACI President, on Radio 4 "The World This Weekend"
Profit and Loss Squawkbox 20 April 2014
ACI UK Calls For FCA to Investigate 'Irregular' Trading Activity
ACI UK - the UK arm of ACI - The Financial Markets Association has asked the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to investigate the possibility that key economic data is being leaked ahead of the official market-wide release times. The allegations follow reports from certain ACI UK members that there have been unusual market movements in GBP/USD prior to the official publication of some UK data. The most recent example was the publication of unemployment data issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 16 April. "ACI UK received comments from a number of their members about irregular trading activity in GBP/USD immediately before the release of unemployment data," an ACI UK spokesperson says. "Having reviewed the information this has been brought to the attention of the FCA."
Profit & Loss understands that the data is issued to the general public and media at 9.30am, when it is published on the ONS website and email alerts with a link to the data are sent. The UK data is not the first to be at the centre of such allegations of leaking, in both the US and Australia market participants have previously claimed similar circumstances around data releases. No evidence has been found to back up the claims and sources familiar with previous investigations tell Profit & Loss that more often that not the move is related to news-reading algo activity, meaning the reaction to the data is so fast to the human eye it looks as though the market has moved before the data, whereas in fact it has done so milliseconds after release.
Profit & Loss approached two platform operators in the FX industry for price/time data at the time of the UK data release but neither were able to supply the data by press time. Sources familiar with the UK complaint were unable to confirm at what time the data-related move occurred.
The ONS says it does not comment on allegations of data leaks. The FCA declined to comment.
Reproduced with kind permission of Profit and Loss