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ETF trading volumes soar on market turbulence

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Trading volumes of exchange-traded funds (ETF) soared to three times their normal level during the late January credit crunch, according to Barclays Global Investors' ETF arm iShares.

Between 21 and 23 January daily trading volume totalled $2.46bn (€1.69bn) compared with an average daily trading volume of $820m across all iShares ETFs in Europe in 2007, as investors took advantage of ETF real-time trading during the recent volatile period, said iShares.

It also reported $1.638m in net new assets between 22 and 23 January.

Those that attracted the biggest inflows included the iShares DAX, which recorded $1,031m in new assets. iShares products tracking the DJ Euro STOXX 50 took in $491.4m in net inflows.

"We can consider a number of potential reasons for this, including investors looking to ‘call the bottom' - buying the market after steep falls in an attempt to participate in a potential rebound," said Andrea Morresi (pictured above), head of sales for iShares Europe. "We also see investors looking to rapidly switch from riskier, concentrated positions in single equities to more diversified baskets of exposure, while remaining fully invested for every minute of the day."

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