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Share trading statistics

Coronavirus has sent shockwaves through the economy.

Coronavirus has rocked global markets and Ireland has not been immune. From 24-26 February, €6.7 billion has been wiped off the Euronext Dublin (formerly the Irish Stock Exchange) as a result of coronavirus-induced selloffs, and on 18 March, the ISEQ fell to 4,366 points – around a 40% drop from where it was in the month prior. To analyse these shifts, we built an ISEQ market tracker, analysed search interest for trading platforms and looked into some of the broader statistics on the Irish stock market.

ISEQ market tracker

Our interactive chart below shows the correlation between key COVID-19 events and their impact on the euro. Please note that this tracker only records some events related to the novel coronavirus, not all. It may also include events that are not related to COVID-19.

The corona-induced surge on share trading platforms

Finder analysis of SEMrush and Google Trends data suggests the Irish have been paying attention to the recent price declines. Analysis of website traffic from SEMrush reveals many share trading platforms and brokerages are seeing spikes in website traffic.

Overall, the number of unique page visits increased by 56% year-on-year across the 6 platforms analysed. Davy Select saw the biggest surge in unique site visits (124%), followed by DEGIRO (69%), IG (66%) and eToro (47%).

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ISEQ trading platformPercentage increase (%)
Davy Select124%
Goodbody Stockbrokers20%
Cantor Fitzgerald13%

SEMrush data suggests more people were interested in share trading in March than they were a year ago, but it doesn’t tell us if they were more interested in selling or buying. For that, we’ll need to take a look at Google Trends data.

Online search interest for both buying and selling stocks spiked in March and was the highest it’s been in the last 12 months. While some investors might be looking to sell their stocks before prices drop further, search interest is much higher for buying stocks.

Broader stats on the Euronext Dublin

  • The Euronext Dublin was founded in 1793
  • Its equity market cap is €121.9 billion
  • 37,000 securities are listed on the exchange
  • There are 90 countries with issuers on the Euronext Dublin

The ISEQ 20

Like other markets around, such as the FTSE 100 in the UK or the Dow Jones 30 in the US, the ISEQ 20 follows the performance of the top 20 companies listed on Euronext Dublin. The index is made up of the companies with the highest trading volume and market capitalisation contained within the Euronext Dublin overall.

  • The index started on 31 December 2004 at a base of 1,000 points
  • The ISEQ 20 rose to just over 1,500 points in April 2007 before declining to under 300 points following the Irish financial crisis
  • Since 2005, the ISEQ 20 index is covered by an ETF contract

How stocks traded compare against total GDP

For almost 20 years, stocks traded have ranged between 2.5-14.7% of Ireland’s total GDP. It was a different story in the late 90s when stocks traded accounted for nearly half the country’s total GDP at a whopping 47.84%. That percentage plummeted to 14.7% in the year 2000 before creeping up to 20.6% in 2001 and diving again in 2002 to just 2.45%. From that point on, stocks traded levelled out and haven’t increased above 10% of the country’s total GDP since.


The Irish ETF market

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are a popular investment for many newcomers because they’re an easy way to diversify your portfolio with the purchase of just one share. They’re growing in Ireland, with total Irish resident holdings (both institutional and households) of ETFs increasing from €6.9 billion at the end of 2015 to €24 billion in September 2019.

How much of that is from the everyday Irish man or woman? Households accounted for €329 million at the end of 2015, growing to €703 million by Q3 2019. The growth of ETFs in recent years is largely attributed to valuation gains of the ETFs themselves, rather than an influx of new purchases.

Another feature of the ETF market in Ireland is its concentration – meaning the top players account for a large portion of the market. The top 10 ETFs accounted for just under half (49.6%) of the total holdings at the end of 2019. The top 3 ETFs account for just under a quarter of the total ETF holdings at 24%.

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