Global derivatives trading hit record levels in the first quarter of 2020, according to new data from the Futures Industry Association (FIA).
The industry trade group reported that 11.4 billion futures and options contracts were traded on derivatives exchanges worldwide in the first quarter — a record for a single quarter.
The activity represented an increase of 43.2% from the same period last year.
The FIA said the trading surge was globally diversified, with all regions showing growth rates of 35% or more. Volume on North American exchanges grew 47.2% to 3.59 billion contracts.
In terms of products, equity index derivatives saw the strongest growth, with trading volume up 61.9% from Q1 2019.
The only asset class that saw trading volume decline was non-precious metals, which saw trading dip 1.3% in the quarter.
Total futures trading was up 45.8% in the quarter, with 6.42 billion contracts traded.
Options trading volume reached 4.99 billion contracts, up 40% from the same period last year.
“The tremendous increase in trading volumes clearly demonstrates the importance and resilience of the listed derivatives markets during these stressed times,” said Walt Lukken, president and chief executive officer of FIA, in a statement.
“In spite of the volatility and economic uncertainty caused by this global pandemic, these markets have continued to provide the vitally important functions of price discovery and risk management without interruption.”