The following article includes graphics and analysis supplied by Mark Culpin, a cash equities business analyst with previous experience at Redburn and Credit Suisse.
Following typical seasonal patterns, third quarter trading in European and US equities declined from the second quarter but were consistent with prior year levels. European trading levels seem unfazed by MiFID II while US volumes continued strong relative to 2017.
European Equities Activity
Levels of European equities trading activity eased in the third quarter from the second quarter, but were consistent with previous years. Total trading activity in the third quarter of 2018 recorded a decline of 11% compared to second quarter levels, but increased .7% relative to the prior year.
MiFID II appears to have had no negative impact on European equities trading year-to-date. Volumes have increased 3% in the first nine months of 2018 relative to the equivalent period in 2017 and are nearly identical to 2016 volumes.
U.S. Equities Trading
US trading volumes in the third quarter fell 7.5% from the second quarter but were up nearly 10% from the third quarter of 2017. Trading in the quarter was the highest third quarter result since the third quarter of 2015.
The solid trading volumes, particularly in the US, are helping sustain cash equities units, offsetting brokerage unbundling pains, at least for now.