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WFE Full Year Statistics Show 2015 global equity trading volumes rise 55% as volatility boosts activity

February 1, 2016

The World Federation of Exchanges has today published its Market Highlights Report for the first semester of 2015.

  • China, India remain main drivers of global trading activity
  • FX, commodities fuel 12% rise in exchange-traded derivatives
  • Global market capitalization slips 1% from 2014, as EMEA and South America see falls

Total value of share trading rose 41% in 2015 and the number of trades 55% from 2014, according to WFE's full-year statistics. The increases were driven predominantly by trading activity in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly mainland China.

Despite the significant volatility witnessed through the year, Asia-Pacific markets still managed to end the year up 10% in terms of market capitalization compared to the end of 2014.

The main highlights of the year were as follows:

-The value of share trading rose 41% worldwide to USD 114 trillion in 2015 compared with USD 81 trillion in 2014. Most of the increase is attributable to the rise in trading activity in the Asia-Pacific region where the value of share trading rose 127% from that seen in 2014. The total value of Asia-Pacific share trading in 2015 approached USD 54 trillion, putting it ahead of other regions in terms of the total value of share trading.

-Total number of trades in 2015 increased 55% from 2014, ending the year at 23.7 billion (up from 15.3 billion in 2014). Again, Asia-Pacific was responsible for most of the increase. The region saw a 94% rise in the number of trades from 2014, from just over 8 billion to 15.5 billion trades in 2015.

-Global market capitalization decreased 1.3% in 2015 compared with the end of 2014, to reach USD 67 trillion compared with USD 68 trillion at the end of 2014. The Americas led this fall (down nearly 8% by the end of 2015), followed by EMEA, which fell just over 3%. Asia-Pacific market capitalization ended the year at 23 trillion USD, up from USD 21 trillion at the end of 2015.

-WFE's H1 2015 Market Highlights report already pointed out that China's markets accounted for a large proportion of the rise in 2015 trading activity. The value of share trading in China increased 218% from USD 13.5 trillion to USD 43.0 trillion and the number of trades rose 186% on 2014 to reach 10.1 billion at the end of 2015.

-IPOs and investment flows: Total new listings in 2015 (including IPOs) registered a 9.6% increase overall, although investment flows from IPOs alone declined by nearly 17% compared to 2014 (USD 202 billion in 2015 as compared to 242 billion in 2014). Other investment flows for already listed companies, however, were up by over 41% at USD 914 billion in 2015 compared with 2014.

-Exchange Traded Derivatives (ETD) volumes (as represented by number of contracts traded) ended the year 11.6% up in 2015, fueled mainly by increases in the number of commodity and currency derivatives traded.

"Last year saw sharp rises in global trading volumes,'' said Nandini Sukumar, CEO of WFE.

``Strong trading activity in Asia-Pacific drove the increases in the value and volume of global share trading, putting it ahead of every other region in terms of activity," Sukumar said.

"Market capitalization in Asia-Pacific managed to end the year up 10% thanks to the strength of the region's markets in H1 2015, although total global market capitalization fell by over 1%."

"Other notable trends of 2015 included a 12% rise in exchange traded derivatives, led by FX and commodities, and a rise in net new IPO listings," said Siobhan Cleary, Head of Research and Public Policy at WFE.

Use the following link to view the full version of the report:


The World Federation of Exchanges is the global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. The WFE, headquartered in London, represents more than 66 regulated stock, futures and options exchanges as well as systemically significant CCPs. WFE is the definitive source for exchange-traded statistics and publishes over 300 market data indicators.

WFE exchanges are home to nearly 45,000 listed companies while its statistics database stretches back 70 years and provides the most definitive information and insight into developments on global exchanges.

WFE promotes the development of fair, efficient and transparent markets. We work with policy makers, regulators and standard-setters around the world to support the development of effective rules and standards for exchanges and market participants.

For further information please contact:

David Thomas
Head of Communications
The World Federation of Exchanges
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7151 4158
Mob: +44 (0) 7887 950 933

FOCUS January 2016 Issue
FOCUS February 2016 Issue