ASX Futures Volume Storms Higher in March Despite Lower Volatility

The ASX has a strong month of capital raising and futures volumes, its best performance in 2017.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has reported its monthly activity report for March 2017, helping pare a lackluster performance in the month prior despite a downward trending volatility – this bucks a traditionally a consistent determinant for volumes across the antipodean exchanges.

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According to the latest monthly report, the value of ASX-listed stocks, as measured by the global All Ordinaries Index in March, rose 2.5 percent month-over-month from February 2017 – this reading also corresponded to a sagging expected future volatility reading of 11.1 in March 2017, compared to 12.1 in February 2017.

The diminishing volatility did strike a different tone across other institutional and retail exchanges worldwide, with March seeing an uptick in trading activity. This was attributed to US monetary policy action, helping kindle currency markets.

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In terms of the ASX’s stock value however, during March 2017 the exchange was on par with most other regional exchanges and market blocs, especially when weighed against leaders such as Germany (4.0 percent), Singapore (2.5 percent), Hong Kong (1.6 percent), and the US (unchanged).

Metrics Breakdown

In terms of market specifics in March 2017, the ASX scored a sizable increase, raising $4.1 billion in total capital during the month, jumping from $1.55 in February 2017, or higher by 164.5 percent month-over-month. Compared to its 2016 counterpart however, the ASX also marked an increase in its raised capital, rising 70.8 percent year-over-year from $2.4 billion in March 2016.

The total value of cash markets for the ASX during March 2017 was $115.8 billion, up 10.1 percent month-over-month from $105.2 billion in February 2017. In addition to this ascending figure, the ASX did report a negative change in its average daily value on-market, yielding a figure of $4.4 billion in March 2017, down -2.2 percent month-over-month from $4.5 billion in February 2017 – this was due to a differential in trading days.

The ASX also released its futures trading statistics during March 2017, showing a total of 17.5 million futures contracts traded during the month, or 84.2 percent higher month-over-month from 9.5 million contracts in February 2017. Average daily contracts were also trending higher at 760,224 in March 2017, vs. just 473,423 contracts in February 2017, up 60.6 percent month-over-month.

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