Since its outbreak, the pandemic has hit the global economy hard: unemployment has risen due to company closures and lockdowns resulting in significantly reduced economic activity. However, signs of an economic recovery are encouraging. This is echoed by the recent Trader Survey conducted by the Swiss stock exchange. The survey among 1,900 registered traders across Europe in Q2 2021 revealed that they expect a post-Covid recovery to drive trading activity for the remainder of the year.

Tony Shaw, Executive Director London Office and Head Sales UK & Ireland of SIX Swiss Exchange comments: “Traders express optimism on the positive market momentum, as the global economy seems to pick up faster and stronger than expected. If trading activity increases as traders expect, the Swiss stock exchange will be ready and waiting.”

Risks and Side-Effects: Inflation Looming?

The only factor traders expect to have an even bigger impact on trading volumes is inflation. Almost half of all respondents said inflation might drive volumes in the second half of the year. This echoes assessments expressed by central bankers and economists. 

Factors Driving Trading Activity

The crisis has emphasised how important stability is in uncertain times, and SIX has proven to be a reliable partner. In the survey, traders named the stability as well as the efficiency of the trading infrastructure as crucial in ensuring that trading remained possible during this difficult time.

Tony Shaw adds: “Supply bottlenecks and surging commodity prices increase the risk of inflation. By ensuring orderly trading and price formation on our exchange – as we have done throughout the pandemic – we’re allowing market participants to efficiently manage this and other risks. Open markets are crucial for traders and investors alike to cope with any kind of market volatility by adjusting their views and being able to act on it.”

Double Dose of Optimism

Traders expressed notable optimism about the outlook on business growth. Compared to the last survey, 40% of respondents now expect to see more growth over the next three years (up from 18% at the end of 2019), while only 5% expect less growth (down from 14% in 2019). Opinions have also shifted with regards to staff hirings, as there are now more traders expecting new hirings (13%) than headcount cutbacks (10%), which contrasts with the results of 2019.

Expected Growth & Hirings

Comparing the feedback from the survey conducted in Q4 2019 with the same target group, results show that traders were more concerned with factors such as the US election, Brexit or the global recession; in contrast, the upcoming German election is not expected to move markets.

Asked about the return to the office, the largest fraction with 40% expects a balanced approach, while only about a quarter of respondents anticipates a return to normal.

Any questions?

Please do not hesitate to contact Julian Chan.

About SIX
SIX provides and operates stable and efficient infrastructure for the Swiss and Spanish financial centers, thus ensuring access to the capital markets and the flow of information and money between financial market players. As a global provider of financial information, SIX delivers high-quality reference, pricing, corporate actions, and ESG data and provides regulatory services and indices to clients around the world. The company is owned by its users (more than 120 banks) with a workforce of 4,160 employees and a presence in 19 countries.