03.23.2012
By Terry Flanagan

NYSE Euronext Tops Europe Peak Trading Charts

The early bird catches the worm, as they say. A new website tracking electronic orders across Europe’s major exchanges and trading platforms reveals that the busiest of them, NYSE Euronext, often opens up to a torrent of orders.

The new service, which has gone live this week, tracks data messages that pass through the venues to record the peaks and troughs and volume of trades that pass through the exchanges each day.

Exegy, a St. Louis-based market data processing company, has teamed up with MarketPrizm, a UK-based trading and technology outfit that is owned by UK telecoms provider Colt, and the New York-based Financial Information Forum, an online discussion platform for the fiscal-related technology sector, to offer the European service, which builds on the established U.S. version.

“This site is designed to provide unique information on peaks in market data to the financial community—trading firms, exchanges and regulators,” said Jeff Wells, vice-president of product marketing at Exegy. “The European markets are very busy and a lot of people want to know what is going on.

“Every direct feed recipient is very interested to know what the data rate is because sometimes there are difficulties as a line can get backed up or there are problems with a switch that can create a burst of data. Initially, they don’t know if it’s just a burst of data affecting them or if its the whole market. This allows them to solve problems much more quickly.”

The service—www.marketdatapeaks.eu—is being targeted at market data vendors such as Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg, as well as the large broker-dealer banks.

The system has been put through its paces this month prior to launch and the figures for March so far reveal that NYSE Euronext has consistently the highest volumes, with its record peak of 130,000 messages per second just after the markets opened on March 16. However, Wells says that once the system has been tested a bit more the figures could be slightly different.

The messages usually appear in very sudden bursts and dips and the figures only include quoted prices and trades and not cancelled quotes.

Chi-X Europe’s peak was 67,000 messages per second on March 8, while Eurex was not far behind with 61,000 messages per second on the same day. Eurex, generally, is second to NYSE Euronext in volumes while the London Stock Exchange, with a peak of 25,000 on March 20, and BATS Europe, with 33,000 on March 8, lag slightly behind.

The leading European exchange in terms of monthly turnover is the combined BATS Chi-X Europe operation, followed by the London Stock Exchange and NYSE Euronext in third, according to figures last month from the Federation of European Securities Exchanges.

“It looks right now that NYSE Euronext is the busiest,” said Wells. “It does appear that there is a phenomenon at market open with NYSE Euronext. It’s probably the way they open their books—you can often get many, many orders all at the same time which causes that spike. It makes sense though it is leading as NYSE Euronext has the Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam stock markets plus Liffe and some futures and options.”

However, Europe has some to go before it can catch up with the U.S. markets.

“In Europe, the magnitude is much lower,” said Wells. “In the U.S. every day you will see peaks of six million messages per second [in Europe it is around 400,000]. The chief reason for this is OPRA, an extremely vigorous options market, which can get out four million messages per second. The remainder of the equities feeds are more comparable to Europe, but the U.S. equities feeds tend to be busier because there are a lot more highly traded stocks in the U.S. than Europe. There are also many more truly competitive exchanges trading the same stock.”

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