The World Federation of Exchanges ("WFE"), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, has today issued a statement on stock market data, as follows:
The WFE has noted that the topic of stock market data – information on the price at which shares are trading – periodically attracts commentary. The key facts do not change over time but are not always kept in mind in such commentary. This statement highlights the most significant of these:
- It is stock exchanges that create information (‘data products’) about the price at which shares are trading. This information would not exist but for the role played by exchanges.
- Exchanges create this information as an integral part of the process of bringing together buyers and sellers. (This is why it is termed a ‘joint product’.)
- Exchanges also perform a number of other crucial functions in support of this process, such as market surveillance and information technology, thereby ensuring the integrity of the information.
- The quality of the information that exchanges create means it has an economic value. The price at which information is licensed is accordingly a commercial matter for each individual consumer and exchange.
- Free information is typically available to consumers who are willing to wait a short time for it.
The WFE stands ready to assist any regulators who are concerned about the role and nature of market data.