Global stock values top $50 trln: industry data

LONDON (Reuters) - The value of companies listed on global stock markets rose to a more than $50 trillion record in January, after jumping by almost a third in the past year, according to data from the World Federation of Exchanges.

The global trade association for stock exchanges said the total market capitalization of companies listed on its 54 member bourses reached $51.225 trillion at the end of January, up from $49.924 trillion a month before.

By comparison, world gross domestic product was around $44 trillion in 2005, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The value of global stocks was some 31.8 percent higher in U.S. dollar terms than a year earlier, while gains in local currency terms were a still-healthy 20.2 percent, WFE said on its Website, here

Market performance drove most of the gains, with global stocks enjoying a spectacular run in 2006 and into January.

WFE members weighted by market capitalization rose an average 19.1 percent in local currency terms in 2006 and 23.8 percent in U.S. dollar terms.

Global stocks tumbled at the of February and into March, with MSCI's All Country World Index .MSCIWD shedding almost 7 percent, but the index has since recouped around half that loss.

The value of shares traded on exchanges is also trending higher, with nearly $7 trillion in stocks changing hands in January compared with average 2006 monthly turnover of $5.8 trillion.

However, the scale of stock market trading is still dwarfed by activity in foreign exchange markets, where turnover is well in excess of $2 trillion per day and is forecast to rise to $3 trillion a day this year.