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Market turbulence sends iShares ETF trading volumes soaring, says BGI

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Barclays Global Investors has reported that trading volumes volume across Europe for its iShares exchange-traded funds were more than three times the normal level amid the extreme volatili

Barclays Global Investors has reported that trading volumes volume across Europe for its iShares exchange-traded funds were more than three times the normal level amid the extreme volatility on global stock markets between January 21 and 23.

In 2007, the average daily trading volume across all iShares ETFs in Europe was USD820m, but trading volumes during the first three days of last week averaged no less than USD2.46bn per day. BGI has also report inflows totalling USD1.64bn in net new assets to iShares ETFs on January 22 and 23.

The iShares funds that attracted the largest inflows included the iShares Dax, which took in just over USD1bn in new assets, while iShares ETFs tracking the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 saw net inflows of USD491.4m.

‘We can consider a number of potential reasons for this, including investors looking to ‘call the bottom’ – buying the market after steep falls in an attempt to participate in a potential rebound,’ says Andrea Morresi, head of sales for iShares Europe.

‘We also see investors looking to switch rapidly from riskier, concentrated positions in single equities to more diversified baskets of exposure, while remaining fully invested for every minute of the day.

‘Furthermore, the full benefits of the iShares ETF model – whereby investors can access liquidity with the broker of their choice – have been evident, as volumes and volatility have spiked across the world’s equity markets. During this volatile period, iShares funds have provided European investors with the tools to trade global equity exposures in real time, even when international markets have been closed.’

Barclays Global Investors is the world’s largest manager of structured investment strategies such as risk-controlled active strategies and indexing and the largest provider of exchange-traded funds globally through more than 190 iShares ETFs worldwide.

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