Industry Updates

ETFs in Europe see record trading amid coronavirus uncertainty

Tom Eckett

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The European ETF industry saw record trading last week in a sign investors are increasingly turning to the ETF wrapper in times of market uncertainty.

According to data from BlackRock, trades across ETPs listed in Europe almost hit $100bn in the week to 28 February, more than double the weekly average seen in 2019.

The increase in trades came as stock markets corrected amid escalating fears the coronavirus could have a long-term impact on the global economy.

The S&P 500 suffered its worst week since the Global Financial Crisis falling 8.4% last week as the recorded number of coronavirus cases reached almost 90,000 across 55 countries worldwide.

The majority of selling occurred in the equity market with investors withdrawing $27bn from global equity ETPs.

Despite the market volatility, BlackRock, which saw trading volumes in its European ETF range hit $36.3bn, said spreads remained in line with historical averages.

Coronavirus: Emerging market ETFs to only suffer short-term

Ursula Marchioni, head of portfolio analysis solutions at BlackRock, commented: “Over the past 12 months, our consultations with over 600 European large multi-asset managers shows that investors increased the use of ETFs in their portfolios by 5% on average compared with 2018, across both tactical and strategic asset allocation choices in discretionary and advisory propositions, unit linked and funds of funds.”

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