LONDON -- The London Stock Exchange (LSE: LSE.L) admitted this morning that the daily average value of trading on its London market had slumped 20% to 4 billion pounds since last year. The shares fell 2% to 1,040 pence in response.

In a statement that referred to "subdued" trading and "quiet market conditions," the Exchange also revealed that trade numbers at its Italian bourse had dived 16% during the five months to August. Other stats disclosed included the total number of new issues joining the Exchange's markets, which plunged from 91 to 49, as well as total money raised from share issues, which collapsed 81% to 4.3 billion pounds.

However, the Exchange reckoned its FTSE and Information division had "continued to perform well," although terminals taking real-time U.K. data were 7% down year on year.

It all meant that a "notable development" during the five months was the successful launch of the MillenniumIT trading system at Borsa Italiana, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and, er, the Mongolian Stock Exchange.

Xavier Rolet, the Exchange's chief executive, claimed:

We continue to make good progress, with our diversified business delivering good revenue growth against the same period last year. This is particularly pleasing given that some parts of our business have experienced difficult market conditions. ... Looking forward, we are well positioned to benefit from improved sentiment in the eurozone and we remain firmly focused on growth opportunities and delivering benefits from recent initiatives and transactions.

Though losing ground today, the Exchange's shares have proven to be a major beneficiary of the market's rebound over the last few years. After hitting a low of 370 pence during early 2009, the price has since rewarded loyal investors with a superb 177% gain.

Such returns suggest it may pay to keep an eye on the Exchange, especially if conditions in the eurozone improve and shares in general embark on a bull run.

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