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Plus500 says trading robust as virus fears drive market action

(Reuters) - Online trading platform Plus500 <PLUSP.L> on Friday reported a significant increase in customer trading activity in the current quarter, as financial markets were rattled by growing fears about the global economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

"The group's financial performance during the first quarter to date is consequently trending substantially ahead of the last quarter of 2019," the UK-listed company said.

The CBOE Volatility Index <.VIX>, widely considered to be Wall Street's fear gauge, scaled a two-year high in the last session as U.S. indexes confirmed their entry into correction territory, with investors dumping riskier assets amid fears of a pandemic.

Plus500, which facilitates trading of contracts for differences (CFDs) internationally, pointed to "heightened volumes of trading across global financial markets" in the recent period, without disclosing the time frame.

CFDs allow traders to bet on financial asset prices without holding the asset.

The positive trading update is just weeks after the company posted a plunge in 2019 profit as a regulatory clampdown on high-risk financial market betting hampered trading activity.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)