Share market operator ASX looks set for an improving second half of the 2012/13 financial year as investor confidence returns.
Activity in the company's largest businesses has boomed since the beginning of January, a direct reflection of improving investor sentiment.
The Australian share market is at its highest levels since the global financial crisis, after a steady rise from the middle of November in 2012.
"The recent economic and political news from the United States and Europe suggests that there is a greater level of stability, from which economic recovery becomes possible," chief executive Elmer Funke Kupper said on Thursday.
"In Australia, market volatility has been low and recent activity levels have been more stable.
"While this does not create an immediate higher growth environment for exchanges, it does support a gradual return of investor confidence."
ASX's derivatives business, its largest operation, has experienced a 17 per cent increase in trades in the first seven weeks of the second half of the 2012/13 financial year.
Derivatives are products such as futures and options contracts.
The company also said $2 billion in capital has been raised through listings and share issues since the end of December, a near 50 per cent increase on the same period in the previous year.
The brighter outlook comes after a weak first half, in which ASX's net profit fell by 2.5 per cent from the previous corresponding period to $171.1 million.
The changing fortunes of the market were reflected in ASX's revenue, which in the first three months of the half was down 8.8 per cent on the previous corresponding period, but up by 2.8 per cent in the second three months.
ASX declared a fully franked interim dividend of 87.9 cents per share, down from 92.8 per cent for the previous corresponding period.
Its shares were down $1.05, or 2.8 per cent, at $35.97 at 1404 AEDT.