Primary Exchange

DEFINITION of 'Primary Exchange'

The most important stock exchange in a given country. Common characteristics of a primary exchange include a long history, primary listings of the country's top companies, listings of many important foreign corporations, large total market capitalization and a large trade value. A country may have other important stock exchanges in addition to its primary exchange.

BREAKING DOWN 'Primary Exchange'

For example, the United Kingdom's primary exchange is the London Stock Exchange. It was founded in 1801 and has a daily volume of approximately $2 trillion. The NYSE is, of course, the primary exchange of the United States. Other primary exchanges include the following:
Canada – Toronto Stock Exchange
Japan – Tokyo Stock Exchange
China – Shanghai Stock Exchange
India – Bombay Stock Exchange

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