Equities trading activity spiked in March as investors grappled with the fallout from the Covid-19 outbreak, according to preliminary data from TMX Group Ltd.

The Toronto-based exchange firm recorded almost 23 billion shares traded in March across all of its equities markets. This was almost double the 12 billion in trading volume recorded in February, and compares with 13.2 billion shares traded in March 2019.

The total value traded this past March came in at $350.8 billion, compared with $189.7 billion in the previous month.

The number of transactions handled by the TMX equities markets more than doubled in March, to 57.5 million, from 24 million transactions in February.

The markets averaged more than 1 billion shares in daily volume, up from 632 million in February. They also handled an average of 2.6 million trades per day in March, compared with 1.27 million in the previous month.

The main market, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), traded 16.8 billion shares in March, up from 7.7 billion in February. The number of trades more than doubled, to 50.8 million, from less than 21 million in February.

Volume more than doubled for the TSX Alpha Exchange too, with monthly volume for March jumping to 2.37 billion shares from 1.1 billion in February. The number of transactions on Alpha also jumped to 5.9 million from 2.5 million, month over month.

Trading activity on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) wasn’t affected by the jump in volatility on global markets.

While trading volume on the venture exchange rose in the month, it came in slightly lower than the volume traded in March 2019.

Additionally, derivatives trading increased in March, but not as dramatically as equity trading.

The Montreal Exchange (MX) reported 14.1 million contracts traded last month, up from 12.8 million in February.