WFE Research Team , London , World Federation of Exchanges | Feb 2018


Stock markets got off to a strong start in 2018, maintaining the momentum observed in 2017 as valuations continued to soar and benchmark indices scaled new record highs in several markets across the globe.

In this article we examine trading activity in markets in Jan 2018 against this backdrop. Was trading activity in the first month of 2018 any different from previous years? What were markets conditions before the global stock market correction seen in Feb 2018? We compare the value of share trading and the number of trades in equity shares in Jan 2018 on the same period since 2014.

Volume traded (million trades)

Value of share trading (billion USD)

Jan 2018 volume traded (% change on)

Jan-17 Jan-16 Jan-15 Jan-14
Americas 5.0% -26.8% -10.4% 5.3%
Asia-Pacific 58.9% 22.8% 38.0% 132.6%
EMEA 17.8% 5.0% 12.5% 33.4%
Total 36.5% 3.2% 19.0% 68.6%

Jan 2018 value traded (% change on)

Jan-17 Jan-16 Jan-15 Jan-14
Americas 29.6% -2.5% 2.0% 13.8%
Asia-Pacific 88.0% 33.6% 13.6% 115.9%
EMEA 76.7% 29.9% 10.8% 84.9%
Total 63.1% 20.0% 8.9% 63.0%
  • Market activity in the first month of Jan 2018 was indeed exceptional - overall the value and volume of share trading in Jan 2018 was higher than on the same period in all years since 2014 (the five-year period under review). This was due to increases across most markets with an exception of the Americas which saw a decline in market activity on Jan 2016. However, the drivers of heightened market activity in the Americas back in Jan 2016 were very different from what they are today – benchmark indices in the US had plunged to record lows due to concerns about the health of the Chinese economy and crashing oil prices (below $30 a barrel for the first time in 12 years).

  • When compared to Jan 2017, the value and volume of shares traded in Jan 2018 were up 63.1% and 36.5% driven by increases across all regions. Only a few markets largely from the Middle east recorded a decline in value and volume of trades on Jan 2017. The scenario this year was a striking contrast to the muted market activity observed in Jan 2017 on previous years, as captured by our Jan 2017 Insights and Analysis story.
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