The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic changes in market behavior, as traders and investors try to grapple with the short-term and long-term implications of a pandemic.
Dollar trading volume on the two top tiers of OTC Markets—the OTCQX Best and OTCQB Venture Markets—rose 15% and 14% respectively in March, the largest month-over-month increases since the end of 2018.
The Most Active Securities
The wide-reaching effects of the spread of COVID-19 coupled with a temporary oil price war between Russia and Saudi America created a whirlwind effect in which individual securities across the entire market universe experienced massive month-over-month volume increases.
On the OTCQX Market, Roche Holding Ltd (OTCQX: RHHBY) was the most actively traded name by a factor of four, with over $4 million worth of shares trading hands. The company is currently involved in the race to develop a treatment for the novel coronavirus and has begun enrolling patients in a trial for its arthritis drug Actemra as a treatment. The Swiss pharmaceutical giant has also started shipping 400,000 coronavirus test kits per week to the U.S.
Not to be outdone, Dutch grocery conglomerate Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. (OTCQX: ADRNY) (owners of Giant, Stop & Shop, Food Lion, and delivery service Peapod) saw a 423% dollar volume increase in March as American shoppers flocked to stores to stock up on goods. Other food names like French company Danone (OTCQX: DANOY) and Brazilian meat producer JBS S.A. (OTCQX: JBSAY) also saw large monthly increases. JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, has been more directly affected by the outbreak than some of its peers. The company recently announced it was shutting down its Colorado operations through April 24 in an effort to contain the spread of the virus among employees.
Overall, 12 of the 15 most actively traded securities on the OTCQX Market in March experienced dramatic volume increases. The only exceptions were the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (volume down 23%), AXA (OTCQX: AXA) (up 3%) and Imperial Brands (OTCQX: IMBBY) (up 3%).
On the OTCQB Best Market—a market occupied by more early-stage companies—increased interest in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries resulted in volume spikes in a number of names not normally among the most active securities.
Todos Medical Ltd. (OTCQB: TOMDF), an Israeli cancer diagnostic company working to bring rapid testing COVID-19 kits to the U.S., experienced a large increase in dollar volume in March. A 97% volume increase in CytoDyn Inc. (OTCQB: CYDY) was the result of the company gaining media attention for the use of leronlimab, its HIV and cancer drug, to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients.
Other small-cap names in the sector like Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCQB: KBLB), Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB: IPIX), and Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (OTCQB: MDNAF) also experienced large volume increases.
Galaxy Next Generation, Inc. (OTCQB: GAXY), a manufacturer of interactive learning solutions, experienced a volume increase as the nationwide closure of schools forced the U.S. education system into remote learning.
These were the top 15 most actively traded securities on the OTCQX and OTCQB markets in March.
Roche Holding Ltd (OTCQX: RHHBY)
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) (OTCQX: GBTC)
Danone (OTCQX: DANOY)
adidas AG (OTCQX: ADDYY)
BNP Paribas (OTCQX: BNPQY)
BASF SE (OTCQX: BASFY)
Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. (OTCQX: ADRNY)
Infineon Technologies AG (OTCQX: IFNNY)
AXA (OTCQX: AXAHY)
Imperial Brands PLC (OTCQX: IMBBY)
Anglo American plc (OTCQX: NGLOY)
Experian plc (OTCQX: EXPGY)
Deutsche Telekom AG (OTCQX: DTEGY)
Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (OTCQX: ZURVY)
Heineken N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY)
Fannie Mae (OTCQB: FNMA)
CytoDyn Inc. (OTCQB: CYDY)
Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC)
TOMI Environmental Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB: TOMZ)
Semler Scientific, Inc. (OTCQB: SMLR)
Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach (CA) (OTCQB: FMBL)
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCQB: KBLB)
Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB: IPIX)
CV Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB: CVSI)
Generex Biotechnology Corp. (OTCQB: GNBT)
Todos Medical Ltd. (OTCQB: TOMDF)
Galaxy Next Generation, Inc. (OTCQB: GAXY)
Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (OTCQB: MDNAF)
Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO)
Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: NWBO)
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