The markets saw a spike in volatility and heightened trading activity in October, with bond ETFs experiencing a record month in volume trades.
According to BlackRock data, October 2018 was a record month for U.S. bond ETF trading volume at $245 billion in aggregate volumes, or $11.2 billion per day across all providers.
BlackRock’s iShares ETF bond suite made up 66% of overall trading volumes for the month, averaging $7.8 billion per day, and U.S. iShares bond ETF trading volumes were 29% higher year-over-year.
“Record trading volumes during October’s bout of market volatility shows how fixed income investors are increasingly utilizing bond ETFs to manage risk. The volumes also show that bond ETFs have been a positive force for stability, adding liquidity and price transparency in high velocity markets,” according to a BlackRock note.
October was also a record trading volume month for a number of bond categories, including high-yield, investment-grade corporate debt and active short ETFs.