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Non-U.S. Stocks Set NYSE Record

Trading volume in foreign shares set a Big Board record in January.

The prospects for taking part in global growth continues to attract U.S. equity investors, and trading of non-U.S. stocks set a Big Board record in January, according to data released by the

New York Stock Exchange


Trading of non-U.S. companies on the NYSE hit a record 215.4 million shares a day on average in January, which represents a 32% increase from the prior month. The new record broke the previous barrier set in July 2002 of 203.2 million shares a day.

Non-U.S. volume in January accounted for 11.5% of the total volume on the exchange, vs. 10.5% of the total volume in December, the NYSE said Friday.

"These record data reflect the continuing strong interest by U.S. equity investors to diversify their portfolios by trading and investing in non-U.S. equities," said NYSE president and co-COO Catherine R. Kinney.

Meanwhile, analysts say that U.S. demand for foreign equity shows the strength of the growth story abroad compared with that in the U.S.

"Global markets are the best investment at this point," said Barry Hyman, equity market strategist at Ehrenkrantz King Nussbuaum. "The growth story developing globally is strong, the companies have better valuations, and the trend is doing well."

Hyman predicts that the U.S. economic growth will halt in the second half of 2006, making investments in foreign equity that much more secure.

Meanwhile, global strength particularly in Asia, has helped to boost shares in companies including


(PTR) - Get Free Report

, which have risen almost 20% since the beginning of the year, and India's

Tata Motors

(TTM) - Get Free Report

, up more than 25% since the start of 2006.

The worldwide market capitalization of NYSE-listed non-U.S. companies reached $8.4 trillion in January, as the average price of non-U.S. shares rose 8% from the end of 2005.