x Days of Isolation – Day 09: ETFs – Expect to Trade for Free?

x Days of Isolation – Day 09: ETFs – Expect to Trade for Free?

by Mark Montgomery, big xyt

Day 9 – ETFs, Expect to Trade for Free?

We saw how volatility during February and March resulted in an unsurprising widening of equity spreads. It sparked our curiosity to see how ETFs were affected during the same period. Market makers in ETFs base their pricing on the underlying instruments. These instruments are not limited to cash equities and may be structured to provide investors with exposure to baskets of Fixed Income instruments or Commodities as well as cash equities. The chart today shows ETF spreads grouped by underlying asset class (Equities, Fixed Income & Commodities) for around 2500 instruments quoted on Euronext Paris, one of the largest & most liquid European venues. We were struck by two notable observations. Firstly, that whilst spreads in Cash Equity, & Commodity based ETFs increased to a peak of around 4 times their normal levels, the Fixed Income based ETFs saw their spreads widened by a factor of 10 at the peak.

Secondly, there was a “second wave” for Commodity ETFs where we saw spreads widen far more than they did initially as oil flirted with technical negative pricing at the end of April.

At big-xyt we can provide daily time weighted spreads & depth for users and algo developers in 12,000 instruments and all significant venues, as well as many other essential trading metrics.  If you are interested in letting us do some of the heavy lifting for your algo infrastructure please get in touch.

If you find these pieces of analysis useful, you will find there is a lot more you can do with our Liquidity Cockpit. Clients using our Execution Analysis/TCA are able to measure execution performance with the demonstrated precision and flexibility.

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On our x Days of Isolation

During these unprecedented times we do not underestimate the professional and personal challenges that everyone is facing. There are far more important things to be doing in the community than looking at a screen. 

However, data and data analytics is playing a critical part in providing solutions to the current global crisis. Furthermore, the markets remain open and whilst they do, the trading community needs to be well informed in order to understand the changing market landscape. As a result, big xyt is receiving an increasing number of requests for observations of changing trends and behaviours in the equity markets. We are excited to have recently expanded our London team to enrich our content and support for clients seeking greater market insights from an independent source. Whilst many adjust to the new experience of working from home we plan to share some of these thoughts, observations and questions in the coming days & weeks. 

As ever we welcome feedback as this can shape further contributions from our team and the Liquidity Cockpit our unique window into European equity market structure and market quality.

We hope you enjoy them.

This content has been created using the Liquidity Cockpit API.

About the Liquidity Cockpit

At big-xyt we take great pride in providing solutions to the complex challenges of data analysis. Navigating in fragmented markets remains a challenge for all participants. We recognise that the investing community needs and expects continued innovation as the volume of data and related complexity continues to increase.

Our Liquidity Cockpit is now recognised as an essential independent tool for exchanges, Sell-side and increasingly Buy-side market participants. Data quality is a key component, as is a robust process for normalisation so that like-for-like comparisons and trends over time have relevance. However, our clients most value a choice of flexible delivery methods which can be via interactive dashboard or direct access to underlying data and analysis through CSV, API or other appropriate mechanism.

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