History of the ASX

The Australian stock market dates back over 150 years when the first regional market was established in Melbourne.

As at April 2015, the Australian stock market has grown to become the 15th largest share market in the world with a domestic equity market of circa A$1.7 trillion and an average daily turnover of $7.2 billion.


Domestic Market Capitalisation
(April 2015)

Exchange Market Cap (USD)
1 New York Stock Exchange 19,634,767
2 NASDAQ 7,237,290
3 Shanghai Stock Exchange 5,610,068
4 Japan Exchange Group 4,946,097
5 London Stock Exchange 4,308,445
6 Hong Kong Exchanges 3,998,807
7 Euronext 3,586,512
8 Shenzhen Stock Exchange 3,462,990
9 TMX Group (Canada) 2,100,061
10 Deutsche Borse 1,867,535
11 SIX Swiss Exchange 1,613,178
12 Bombay Stock Exchange 1,569,395
13 National Stock Exchange of India 1,525,045
14 Korea Stock Exchange 1,409,630
15 Australian Securities Exchange 1,335,682

Market cap. in '000'000


Milestones of the Australian Share Market

Australia's first stock exchange was established in Melbourne in 1861. Over the next few decades, additional regional exchanges were established in Sydney (1871), Hobart (1882), Brisbane (1884), Adelaide (1887) and Perth (1889).

All exchanges traded independently of each other until 1937 when the Australian Associated Stock Exchanges (AASE) was established, bringing with it uniformed listing and commission rules.

The following year, in 1938, the first share price index was published.

Chart showing all major share market crashes

Australian Share Market since 1938

 

1979 - ALL ORDINARIES INDEX IS CREATED

For over 50 years there was no index to represent the Australian share market as a whole, but instead only individual regional indices.

The All Ordinaries Index (known as the "All Ords") replaced the regional indices to become Australia's first official share price index and primary institutional benchmark for the Australian share market. It was used from January 1980 until April 2000.

The starting base value for the All Ordinaries was set at 500 on 31 December 1979, with the first trading day being 2 January 1980.


1987 - AUSTRALIAN STOCK EXCHANGE IS FORMED

sml-asx-logo

The Australian Stock Exchange was formed in 1987 when the Australian government drafted legislation that amalgamated the six independent state-based stock exchanges.

On 2 September 1999, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) announced that the S&P suite of indices (in particular the S&P/ASX 200) would become the new institutional benchmark for the Australian share market. This move was intended to change the role of Australia's indices from being used as a share price measuring tool to a benchmark for portfolio returns.

"The original All Ordinaries Index was created twenty years ago as a simple way of measuring market movement. It was not designed as an instrument against which to measure portfolio or individual stock performance".
Source: 2 Sept 1999 ASX Announcement


2000 - TRANSITION FROM ALL ORDINARIES TO S&P/ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 was established in April 2000 and replaced the All Ordinaries.

The transition occurred when Standard & Poor's (S&P) assumed responsibility for Australia's suite of indices, bringing the Australian share market into the global spotlight. Although considered one of the "Big Three" credit rating agencies (along with Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings), S&P is most recognised for its global suite of indices. Widely regarded as the benchmark for equity investments, its indices are noted for their highly liquid and tradable constituents, encouraging investment by even the largest institutional investors.


2006 - MERGER & RENAMING

In 2006 the Australian Stock Exchange merged with the Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE) and became known as the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

ASX Merger with SFE Diagram

Timeline of Milestones

1829

Matthew Gregson receives permission from the Bank of New South Wales to trade in its shares.

First share list was published by William Barton, father of Australia’s first Prime Minister Edmund Barton.

1835

1861

Australia's first stock exchange is established in Melbourne.

Australia's second stock exchange is established in Sydney.

1871

1880's

Four regional stock exchanges are established - Hobart (1882), Brisbane (1884), Adelaide (1887) and Perth (1889).

Australian Associated Stock Exchanges (AASE) is established with representatives from all regional exchanges.

Uniformed listing rules are created.

1937

1938

Publication of the first share price index.

Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE) commences trading as the Sydney Greasy Wool Futures Exchange (SGWFE).

1960

1969

Mining Boom! Poseidon NL shares rise from $0.80 to $280 in 4.5 months.

National listing for all securities is introduced.

1972

1976

The Australian Options Market is established.

All regional indices are replaced.

The All Ordinaries index is created with a base date of 31 December 1979.

1979

1987

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is formed on 1 April 1987.

Stock Exchange Automated Trading System (SEATS) in launched, moving transactions to digital.

1987

1987

Global crash – the All Ordinaries index records its largest one-day loss, falling by 516 points (25%) on 20 October 1987.

The All Ordinaries index records its highest one-day points gain, rising 144 points (6%) on 29 October 1997.

1997

2000

2000 Standard & Poor's takes over from the ASX.

The S&P/ASX 200 replaces the All Ordinaries index as the primary institutional benchmark index for the Australian market.

Introduction of the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) for the Australian market.

2001

2001

Standard & Poor's take over index calculation from the ASX.

Dot Com Bubble Bursts - ASX falls 22% over 12 months.

2002

2008

Global Financial Crisis (GFC) - ASX falls 54% over 16 months.

Additional Reading

All Ordinaries since 1982 - PDF image with major events overlaid

Index Calculation Methodology - for all major Australian indices (by Market Index)


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