The United States has the most highly developed capital markets in the world and the size of the U.S. stock market is one of many examples that proves this out. The combined market capitalization (total dollar value of all stocks) of the NASDAQ OMX and NYSE Euronext is nearly $16 trillion - more than the next six largest exchanges combined.
As you know, stock markets serve an important function in providing a place for the issuance of new shares so companies can finance operations and to provide liquidity and real-time valuation of previously issued stocks for investors. Having high functioning stock markets and exchanges provides an incredibly valuable service to companies, shareholders, and citizens of the countries that host them.
Below is a list of the largest stock exchanges and markets from data compiled by the World Federation of Exchanges. As you can see, most are from developed economies, but developing countries such as China, Brazil, and India are rapidly becoming more important centers for the exchange of equities.
- NYSE Euronext, United States ~ $12.4 trillion
- Tokyo Stock Exchange, Japan ~ $3.5 trillion
- NASDAQ OMX, United States ~ $3.5 trillion
- NYSE Euronext, Europe ~ $2.8 trillion
- London Stock Exchange, United Kingdom ~ $2.8 trillion
- Shanghai Stock Exchange, China ~ $2.6 trillion
- Hong Kong Exchanges, China/Hong Kong ~ $2.3 trillion
- TSX/Toronto Stock Exchange, Canada ~ $1.8 trillion
- Bombay Stock Exchange, India ~ $1.4 trillion
- BM&F Bovespa, Brazil ~ $1.3 trillion
- Australian Stock Exchange, Australia ~ $1.3 trillion
- Deutsche Borse, Germany ~ $1.3 trillion
- BME Spanish Exchanges, Spain ~ $1.3 trillion
- National Stock Exchange, India ~ $1.2 trillion
- SIX Swiss Exchange, Switzerland ~ $1.1 trillion
Source: World Federation of Exchanges as of March 2010. For updated statistics or to view other member exchanges, click here.