NYSE Euronext said its trading in stocks in the United States was down 23.6 percent in March, compared to last year. In Europe, stocks were down 12.7 percent. Derivatives were down 11.5 percent, worldwide.

There were some bright spots for the operator of the New York Stock Exchange and other venues, mostly in comparison to a month ago.

Derivatives volume, globally, was up 15.4 percent from February. European stock trading was up 0.5 percent from February. U.S. stock trading was down 0.6 percent from February.

Some key results:

European derivatives products, overall: The average daily volume of 3.9 million contracts was down18.0 percent compared to March 2011, but increased 37.8 perent from February 2012 levels.

European derivatives products, adjusted: Excluding Bclear, NYSE Liffe's trade administration and clearing service for over-the-counter products, European derivatives products volume decreased 28.5 percent compared to March 2011 and increased 12.0 percent from February 2012.

U.S. equity options: Daily volume of 4.1 million contracts in March 2012 decreased 6.0 percent compared to March 2011 levels and decreased 0.1 percent from February 2012.

NYSE Liffe U.S.: Daily volume of 104,900 contracts increased from 35,600 contracts in March 2011 and increased from 88,600 contracts in February 2012.

European stock trading: Daily volume of 1.6 million transactions in March 2012 decreased 12.7 percent compared to March 2011, but increased 0.5 percent from February 2012 levels.

U.S. stock trading: Daily volume of 1.8 billion shares in March 2012 decreased 23.6 percent compared to March 2011 and decreased 0.6 percent compared to February 2012.

NYSE-listed stocks: NYSE Euronext’s Tape A matched market share in March 2012 was 31.3 percent, down from 35.1 percent in March 2011, but up from 30.0 percent in February 2012.

Separately, the Investment Technology Group, an agency research broker and financial technology firm, said its March 2012 trading volume in the united States was 3.8 billion shares and average daily volume was 171 million shares. This compares to 3.9 billion shares and daily volume of 193 million shares in February 2012 and 4.1 billion shares and daily volume of 178 million shares in March 2011 88) 776-0942.

Tom Steinert-Threlkeld writes for Securities Technology Monitor.