Volatility drives high trading volumes in Europe

Macroeconomic uncertainty drives significant increase in trading activity in February, with Euronext hitting second record month in a row.

European equity trading volumes were high in February as market volatility prompted by global economic concerns continued to fuel activity.

Euronext, which operates venues in France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium saw a record month once again in February with average daily double counted trades of 2.28 million, up from its previous record of 2.21 million in January 2016.

Average daily turnover of its cash order book increased slightly, up 4.1% to €8.59 billion compared with February 2015.

However exchange-traded fund (ETF) activity saw more significant growth, increasing 26% to €677 million over the same period. Euronext added that it has also seen strong growth in ETF listing, with 72 new listings since the beginning of 2016.

Its derivatives market also performed well, with equity index derivatives volume up 10.5% year-on-year to an average of 249,664 contracts traded each day. Individual equity derivatives volumes increased 6.3% to an average of 281,497. The firm also set a new record for derivatives order processed, reaching 390 million in total in February. Again, this was an increase from its previous record of 315 million seen in January.

Deutsche Boerse also saw a significant uptick in trading volume, with executed trades increasing 43.9% in February from a total of 18 million last year to 25.9 million.

Similarly to Euronext, turnover was more modest at $130.7 billion, up 4.1% from 125.5 billion in February 2015.

Stock markets have been turbulent since the beginning of the year, with macroeconomic concerns including a slowdown in china and the rapid decline in oil prices leading to increased volatility.