March 9, 2020 / 11:45 AM / 20 days ago

SGX posts record derivative volumes in February amid coronavirus fears

March 9 (Reuters) - Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) on Monday posted record derivatives trading volumes in February as concerns over the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak sent investors hunting for instruments that limited risk exposure.

The derivatives daily average volume during February — which includes equities, currencies and commodities — rose to 1.24 million contracts, the exchange operator said.

The virus outbreak, which has claimed over 3,800 lives around the world, has rattled investors and curbed risk sentiment across global financial markets. Coronavirus-related fears sent global stocks nose diving on Monday, with losses compounded by free-falling crude oil prices.

"In Asia, where economies are in different stages of development and risks are specific to geography and asset class, derivatives have grown in importance not only to defend against the downside, but as a hedge amid uncertainty," SGX said.

Total securities market turnover at the exchange rose 44% from last year to S$27.5 billion ($19.89 billion) in February, while the daily average value of securities traded jumped 30%.

Singapore Exchange said there was growing demand from Europe and United States-based investors for tools that gave access to Asia markets. ($1 = 1.3829 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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