How has COVID-19 changed the way brokers buy stocks?

In this post, we’ve ranked each Canadian broker that has bought over $10,000,000 CAD in shares for select days before the COVID-19 pandemic and during to compare how each broker may have changed their trading behavior. 

COVID-19 has affected worldwide trading patterns in unexpected ways. On March 11 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It is during this time that we’ve seen the size of Canadian equity market data almost tripling for the month of March 2020 compared to February 2020 as well as all previous months.

Deeper Dive | Market Insights

To delve deeper into how broker buying patterns have changed during this time, we’ve used our Market Insights access to extract metrics such as total value bought per broker and even the percent of time brokers have placed orders on the best bid prices!

In the spreadsheet provided, we’ve ranked all Canadian brokers that have bought over $10,000,000 CAD in shares within the first 2 days of February 2020 (before the pandemic) and the first 2 days of April 2020 (early during the pandemic) to show you how each broker has fared. 

As an example, during the first 2 days of February RBC Capital Markets ranked #1 on the percentage time they’ve been placed at the best bid prices averaged across all tickers and trading venues they trade on. However, by April, RBC had dipped to rank #3. RBC’s percentage of time at best bid prices among all tickers has decreased by 12% and their total value bought in shares has decreased by 8%. 

On the other hand, smaller brokers such as Haywood Securities Inc.Leede Jones Gable Inc., and PI Financial Corp. have jumped onto the scene from not even having enough traded value to be counted into the broker rankings in February to doubling their shares bought by April and achieving a high percentages of time on the best bid prices.

***Note that this analysis makes use of public market data. Trades that have been anonymized by brokers cannot be counted in the results. Furthermore, a few brokers have been omitted from the list due to difficulties with statistical skews on the data.

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