Online Trading Settles Down

While online trading continues to grow, two industry reports indicate the market may be settling down. This is according to analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston and Piper Jaffray Inc.

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The reports defined an online trade as a trading order executed over the Internet. CS First Boston calculated that 253,000 such trades were conducted online in the third quarter of 1998. The Piper Jaffray estimate sets the number of online trades at 264,000. Overall, this represents a 14 percent increase on the previous quarter.

Online trading has grown steadily in the first three quarters of 1998 but in each quarter the rate of growth has slowed down. Credit Suisse First Boston estimated that in the first quarter of 1998 online trading rose 25 percent. The growth rate slowed to 16 percent in the second quarter and again in the third.

The traditional off-line trading houses recorded the highest number of online trades, with Internet-only brokerages falling behind.

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