May 2010 was a record breaking month for exchange traded fund (ETF) activity, with trading, asset flows and the number of clients actively trading all reaching new highs, according to Barclays Stockbrokers. Trading volumes were the highest monthly levels on record – up 44% from the previous month and up 52% year-on-year.
The number of clients actively trading also continued to rise, increasing 9% compared with the previous month and 33% year-on-year. Asset flows jumped to new levels, with an increase of 108% from April 2010 and 76% increase year-on-year. Heightened volatility in the FTSE 100 over the last month resulted in FTSE-related products accounting for 39% of all ETF purchases in May 2010, as clients looked to play the market movements over the short term.
From the evening of Saturday 12 June 2010, ETF clients have been able to take advantage of Barclays Stockbrokers new ‘4-4-2’ promotion. Clients are able to trade ETFs at the heavily discounted price of just £4.42 – compared to standard rates of between £6.95 and £12.95 – for as long as England stays in the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Barbara-Ann King, head of investments at Barclays Stockbrokers, said: “The popularity of ETFs continues to build, and our figures suggest this growth shows little sign of abating – with more clients actively trading ETFs this month than ever before, an increase of 33% from this point last year.
“Our clients are increasingly viewing ETFs as effective and accessible investment products with which to capture short-term market movements, while also utilising them as long-term building blocks within their portfolios. Throughout May, our clients continued to demonstrate sophisticated trading behaviour taking advantage of market volatility.”
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