Press releases 2004
25 March 2004
PRE-CLOSE PERIOD UPDATE
Unless otherwise stated, the following commentary refers to the 11 months ended 29 February 2004 and, where appropriate, to the corresponding period last year.
London Stock Exchange plc ("the Exchange") today issued a routine update ahead of the close period relating to the year ending 31 March 2004.
The total number of companies on the Exchange's markets was 2,673 (2003: 2,804) at 29 February 2004. At 197, the number of new issues on the Exchange's markets during the period was broadly in line with the corresponding period last year (194).
AIM, the Exchange's international market for smaller, growing companies, continued to attract an increased number of companies. At 29 February 2004, 761 companies were traded on AIM (2003: 703).
The total number of equity bargains was 53 million, up six per cent on the same period last year (2003: 50 million). The value of equity bargains traded totalled £3.6 trillion (2003: £4.0 trillion).
The average number of equity bargains per day increased from 213,000 to 230,000 primarily reflecting continued growth in volumes on SETS, the electronic order book. Following a significant increase in January and February's trading volumes, the average number of SETS bargains per day, including SETSmm, the Exchange's new hybrid trading service, increased 26 per cent to 134,000 (2003: 106,000). However, the average value of a SETS bargain fell 12 per cent from £25,000 to £22,000.
The average number of off-book bargains was 57,000 per day (2003: 51,000) whilst the average number of international bargains was 39,000 per day (2003: 56,000).
At 29 February 2004, the total number of terminals receiving Exchange data was 90,000 (31 Dec 2003: 90,000; 28 Feb 2003: 95,000) of which approximately 80,000 terminals were attributable to the professional user base (31 Dec 2003: 81,000; 28 Feb 2003: 88,000).
Proquote continues to grow with over 1,700 installed screens and 160 corporate customers (Feb 2003: 1,000 screens).
RNS, the Exchange's market leading provider of financial communication tools and services, has performed well, with 90 companies in the FTSE 100 continuing to use RNS to release regulatory announcements.
Following a seasonal pick up in trading volumes in January and February, a total of 13.1 million contracts were traded during the first eight months of EDX London's operations. With the migration of the central counterparty to LCH.Clearnet now complete, development of over-the-counter equity and index derivatives services continues.
Commenting on current trading, Clara Furse, Chief Executive, said:
"During the period, growth in SETS volumes offset a decline in professional terminal numbers, whilst the overall level of new issue activity was unchanged. Overall, the Exchange's performance has remained resilient."
The London Stock Exchange expects to announce its preliminary results for the year ending 31 March 2004 on 20 May 2004.
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For further information, please contact:
London Stock Exchange
John Wallace - Media 020 7797 1222
Paul Froud - Investor Relations 020 7797 3322
Ruth Anagnos - Investor Relations 020 7797 3322
James Murgatroyd 020 7251 3801
Melanie Gerlis 020 7251 3801