Block trades peak making up over half of dark trading volumes

Block trades accounted for a record 51.9% of dark trading last week, according to statistics from Fidessa.

Block trades accounted for more than half of dark trading last week as the industry continues to adopt block trading in the wake of MiFID II.

Statistics from Fidessa revealed that block trades accounted for a record 51.9% of dark trading for the week ending 18 May, compared to just 16.06% in the same week last year.

Block trading volumes increased significantly following the introduction of MiFID II’s double volume caps (DVCs) on 12 March this year, as the regulation looked to shift dark trading towards on-exchange or lit order books.

The proportion of dark traded as large in scale (LIS) blocks surged from 23.9% for the week ending 9 March before the DVCs were implemented, to 42.9% the week they were introduced.

ITG’s Posit traded a majority of €1.98 billion last week, more than any other block trading venue, closely followed by Turquoise Plato which traded €1.93 billion. Turquoise Plato executed the most blocks in that period with 2,177 trades.

Firms across Europe over the past couple of years established block trading platforms in anticipation of the shift from dark trading. The space was once dominated by ITG and Liquidnet, but demand from the buy-side ahead of MiFID II saw new venues launched by exchange groups like Cboe, Euronext and the London Stock Exchange.

Market participants have predicted more block venues could be established in the near future as volumes continue to surge under the MiFID II regime.