The size of the ETFs market worldwide continued to grow, with the first five months of 2018 recording a pickup both in terms of ETF listings and trading activity when compared to the same period in 2017.
The total number of ETFs listed as at end May 2018 was 6.3% higher than as at end May 2017. This was due to an increase in the number of listings across all three regions - the Americas region up 7.8%, the Asia-Pacific region up 11.4% and the EMEA region up 4.6%. It must be noted while interpreting these trends that the ETF listings figures in the European markets are overstated as the same products are cross listed across multiple markets.
The total volume traded between January to May 2018 was 33.7% higher than the same period in 2017. Volumes traded in the Americas region were up 22.4% , the Asia-Pacific region were up 136.3% and the EMEA region were up 12.4%. This reflects the global phenomenon of increasing trading activity in ETFs across most markets.
Overall value traded of ETFs in the first five months of 2018 also increased by 37.5% when compared to the same period in 2017. Value traded in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region were up 37.7% and 92.3%. Only the EMEA region recorded an 18.6% decline in turnover when compared to January to May 2017. The increases in overall volumes traded could to a certain extent be attributed to the sharp uptick in ETFs value traded in January and February 2018 in the Americas region. In February 2018, for the first time in the period under review (since January 2017), the value traded in the Americas region exceeded 2 trillion USD, against the backdrop of the sharp equity market sell-off and volatility spike during the week ended 9 February 2018 in the USA. However, value traded declined in subsequent months reflecting the shock absorbing nature of the ETFs in a choppy market.