The surge in Web surfers is brightening prospects for online stock trading.

With Internet connection services for mobile phones fast expanding, online stock trading is becoming the order of the day.

Matsui Securities Co. received buy and sell orders from some 1,800 customers by cellphone in March, two months after it began offering such services over mobile phones in addition to PC-based online services.

The total orders from them for March alone surpassed 14,000, and 9.3 billion yen in value — or more than 100 billion yen at an annualized rate.

The actual value for the full year now appears certain to far outshine this level.

Although mobile phone-based stock trading now accounts for only 1.7 percent of the total Web-based stock trading handled by Matsui, it could continue to quickly expand in the years ahead and eventually outperform conventional personal computer-based trading.

Given the fast expanding Internet infrastructure, improved services and falling connection charges, mobile Internet connection services will become indispensable for Web surfers in homes and offices, and stock trading based on such services will soon become commonplace.

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