Futures in the new European currency saw heavy turnover in 1999 at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, with nearly 3m EuroFX currency futures contracts changing hands during the year. This was the strongest first-year start ever seen for a currency futures contract, the CME said.
“It was a tremendous start and activity in the contract continued to build throughout the year,” said Yra Harris, chairman of the CME’s foreign currency committee.
The CME’s EuroFX contract is sized at e125,000, and trades on CME’s trading floor from 7.20 am to 2 pm, then on the CME’s Globex 2 platform from 2.30 pm to 7.05 am the next day.
Eventually the EuroFX will replace two currency products now listed by the CME – the Deutschmark and French franc, the exchange says. Activity in each of these two products dropped off markedly as the EuroFX gained ground.
The exchange also said equity index products products posted record volume in 1999, due to the booming US stock market and growth in electronic trading.
Total volume for all equity index products at the CME in 1999 was 48m, up 9.1% from 1998. However, exchange-wide volume was down from record 1998 levels when the financial crisis in Asia and Russia created unprecedented global demand for risk management products, the exchange says. Electronic trading at the CME continued to grow rapidly, with total 1999 volume traded through the CME’s Globex 2 system hitting a new record of 16.1m contracts.