PHLX Launches Sector Index Futures

April 01, 2008

Futures contracts on three popular PHLX sector indexes recently started trading on its PBOT subsidiary.  


The Philadelphia Stock Exchange launched three futures contracts on its Philadelphia Board of Trade subsidiary a couple weeks ago. While previously the exchange traded only currency futures on six different foreign currencies, the new contracts are linked to three of the PHLX's homegrown indexes.

Futures are now trading on the PHLX Oil Service Sector, PHLX Semiconductor Sector and PHLX Housing Sector indexes. PHLX options contracts are available for all three indexes and have some of the highest volumes of PHLX's 17 different index options contracts. Interestingly, the PHLX Gold & Silver Sector Index options contract has by far the highest year-to-date volume levels, but the underlying index did not get its own futures contract.

Otherwise, however, the choices seem to make sense. The oil service sector, for one, has been benefitting from the run-up in oil prices, while many are expecting the housing market to experience a turnaround eventually. The semiconductor index, of course, is a technology play.

Volumes have been largely nonexistent on the currency futures, and for the time being, it looks like it will go the same way for the new futures contracts-not a single contract appears to have traded on the PBOT since the launch of the sector index futures. However, the new futures contracts cover sectors that have not yet been addressed by the futures market, so they may attract some attention yet.

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