Asian trading volumes sank to their lowest volumes for at least two and half years last month, with losses almost exclusively attributable to Chinese markets.
Overall trading volumes across major Asian markets dropped to US$946 billion in January, according to Thomson Reuters, lower than the US$1.01 trillion traded in the last month of 2011 and the US$1.53 trillion recorded in January 2010.
It was the first time Asian market turnover dropped below US$1 trillion since Thomson Reuters began reporting the region’s trading volumes in June 2009.
China bore the brunt of the losses, with value traded falling by US$54.6 billion month-on-month to US$289.1 billion in January.
Performance in other Asian markets was mixed. Japan, the continent’s second largest market, suffered only marginal monthly losses, from US$263.4 billion to US$262.7 billion in January.
SBI Japannext remained the largest proprietary trading system in the country, growing its market share to 3.24% of Japanese stocks, from 2.88% the previous month. SBI Japannext’s main challenger, Chi-X Japan, also increased its market share from 2.22% to 2.65% month-on-month.
In Australia, overall volumes also declined significantly, from US$68.8 billion in December, to US$61.7 billion in January. Nascent alternative trading system Chi-X Australia, which launched at the end of October last year, traded 0.89% of Australian stocks.
Volumes grew in Hong Kong by just under US$4 billion to end January on US$25.9 billion, and also in Singapore, where trading grew from US$9.2 billion in December, to US$11.9 billion in January.
Indian stocks enjoyed more significant gains, growing from US$43.2 billion in December, to US$52.8 billion in January.