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High-Frequency Traders Chase Currencies

Forget the equity market. For high-frequency traders, the place to be is foreign exchange.

Firms using the ultra-fast strategies getting scrutiny thanks to Michael Lewis’s book “Flash Boys” accounted for more than 35 percent of spot currency volume in October 2013, up from 9 percent in October 2008, according to consultant Aite Group LLC. It’s the opposite of equities, where their proportion shrank to 50 percent in 2012 from 66 percent four years ago, according to Rosenblatt Securities Inc.