BATS March Daily Equity Trading Volume Drops 10.3%

BATS Global Markets said that its average daily matched volume was 651.8 million shares in March, plummeting from the 727.4 million share level in February or down 10.3 percent. It is also down from the 754.3 million shares that changed hands in January.

It is also down from one year ago, when 723.3 million shares changed hands. That’s down 9.8 percent.

In March BATS matched market share of its two national stock exchanges slid to 10.6 percent. That is down from 11.1 percent in February.

A year ago, BATS’ two exchanges had a 10.9 percent share of trading in equities in the United States.

BATS is typically the first exchange operator to report its monthly market share and volume figures and  as such can be used as an early indication of overall equities market volume.

Looking further into the data, the BYX exchange had huge year over-year-drop-off in average daily volume of 32.8 percent for March with 116.5 million shares changing hands. The Y exchange traded 170.2 million shares in February. The BZX exchange saw its year-over-year average daily volume fall only 2 percent with 535.3 million shares executed.

In response, BATS spokesman Randy Williams said, “While market share ebbs and flows from month to month, what we’re increasingly concerned about is the ongoing rise of off-exchange trading, which last month was 36.0 percent. This figure is disturbingly high and we believe affects the quality of price discovery in the public markets.”

In equities options, BATS Options saw its matched market share drop to 3.8 percent in February from 4.0 percent in February and 3.9 percent in January. While overall share dropped, that is still up a whopping 36.8 percent from the 2.4 percent seen one year ago.  Average daily matched volume fell in March to 574,846 from 650,531 in February.

One year ago options volume was 402,849 contracts.

The BATS 1000 Index, a broad based U.S. equities market benchmark, ended the month up 657.15 points, or 3.7 percent higher, closing at 17,773.47 vs 17,116.32 in February.

BATS operates two stock exchanges in the U.S., the BATS BZX Exchange and BATS BYX Exchange; as well as BATS Options, a U.S. equity options market; and BATS Europe and Chi-X Europe, which operate FSA-authorized multilateral trading facilities.