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Canadian equity markets registered a massive surge in trading activity in the first quarter, according to new data from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

The self-regulatory organization has published first-quarter trading data for all of the exchanges and alternative trading systems that it oversees. The value traded across all markets reached $539.6 billion in March, up 75.9% from the previous month, and up by more than 80% from the same month in 2019.

In quarter, the value traded topped $1.1 trillion, up 55.1% from the previous quarter, and 37.6% from Q1 2019.

Trading volume was up 45.9% in Q1 to over 81.5 billion shares. The number of transactions jumped by 63.4% from Q4 2019.

Total messaging activity more than doubled in March to 91.3 million, up from 41.1 million in February. The markets averaged 37.2 million messages per month in 2019.