World Cup Slows Down Market Trading, Report Finds

If everyday Americans don't care about soccer, American traders sure do.

The volume of shares traded in major indices around the world - including the S&P 500 - plunged during the Knockout Round Matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, according to data published by Thomson Reuters Tuesday. The trading volume in the United States dipped 43 percent during the games of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the most recent Cup with a similar number of games during trading hours as the 2018 Cup in Russia, which begins Thursday.

In Argentina, the number of trades dropped 80 percent during 2010 World Cup matches.

"We conclude that stock markets were following developments on the soccer pitch rather than in the trading pit, leading to a changed price-formation process," the European Central Bank wrote in a report on the phenomenon in 2012.

The dip in trading is similar to what occurs everyday during lunchtime, but lasts much of the afternoon, the ECB found. Trading volumes stayed below average for the entire session before the match began and did not recover until approximately 45 minute after its conclusion.

Even more traders are expected to be distracted by this year's World Cup, as 43 of the 64 matches will be played while European or Latin American markets are open.

In 2014, trading slowed the most when home team Brazil and champion Germany were playing according to Thomson Reuters. Both teams will be competing this year as well.

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