Asia's equity markets experienced an increase in volumes from June to August 2011 in response to European and US debt fears, reaching their highest point since the Japanese earthquake in March, according to Thomson Reuters.
Total market activity in Asia-Pacific was US$1.80 trillion in August, compared with US$2.2 trillion in March and US$1.52 trillion in February. August's volumes built on an upward trend beginning in June (US$1.4 trillion) and continuing in July (US$1.6 trillion).
The rise in trading volumes in Asia was slightly less pronounced than in Europe, where volumes increased from US$1.12 trillion in June to US$1.58 trillion in August due to concerns over European and US debt levels.
In Japan, where volumes had remained at a low level following the earthquake, August volumes shot up to US$441.89 billion from US$324.48 billion in June. Total market volumes had previously peaked at US$573.84 in March, but subsequently fell to US$347.59 billion in April and US$326.76 billion in May.
Japan's proprietary trading systems (PTSs) reported greater volumes and market share in August, with Chi-X Japan accounting for 2.31% of trading, up from 2.06% in July. SBI Japannext managed 2.27% in August, from 2.08% in July.
Despite Chi-X Japan's gains however, the Tokyo Stock Exchange maintained its dominance, remaining consistently at or above 90% throughout the month to close at 90.6% of trading volumes. The Osaka Securities Exchange retained between 4% and 5% of market share throughout the year, peaking at 6% in July before returning to 5% in August.
In Australia, volumes echoed the Japanese pattern, increasing from US$74.42 billion in January to US$118.53 billion in March, declining to US$91.42 billion in April, before increasing sharply from US$95.99 billion in July to US$134.10 billion in August. Singapore's volumes experienced a broadly similar pattern, except that its peak was reached in August (US$32.71 billion), rather than March (US$27.75 billion).
Hong Kong experienced dramatic swings, closely correlated with Japan. Volumes peaked at US$167.68 billion in March, but collapsed to US$121.66 billion by May, only to rebound from a low point of US$116.16 billion in July to US$164.08 billion in August.