LONDON (Reuters) – A new breed of trading algorithms has deftly navigated the turbulence in currency markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic, driving up demand for robots and potentially reshaping the world of foreign-exchange dealing beyond the crisis.


Investment banks have seen a surge in clients trading with “algos” since early March as the latest generation has proved faster than humans at adapting to fragmented markets where liquidity can swiftly evaporate, senior executives told Reuters.

This represents a reversal in the FX industry, where machine-trading is traditionally viewed as unsuited to markets in upheaval, partly because circuit-breakers embedded in the software halt trading when volatility spikes.