Financial stock exchange market display screen board on the street

The surge in market volatility was a boon to equities trading in the first half of 2020, according to data from Toronto-based TMX Group Ltd.

Total trading volume across all TMX equities markets was up by 39.2% in the first half, compared with the same period a year ago.

Total volume reached 96.8 billion shares, and there were almost 200 million transactions in the first half, up 47.5% from the same period a year earlier.

Daily volume averaged 768.6 million shares in the first half, up 38.1% from 2019.

Trading activity jumped most notably on the TSX Alpha Exchange, which saw volume rise by 58.9% year over year to almost 9.3 billion shares traded.

Conversely, while volume was up by 13.5% on the TSX Venture Exchange, the number of transactions fell by 17.0%, and the value traded dropped 30.0% from last year.

Trading volume also increased for the Montréal Exchange, but not nearly as dramatically as in the equities markets.

First half volume for the derivatives exchange rose by 13.0% from last year to 66.3 million shares.