Trading Commences on Eurex US

February 09, 2004

The Swiss-German derivatives exchange Eurex expands into North America.

Chicago/San Francisco - February 9, 2004.  - Trading commenced yesterday on Eurex US, the new all-electronic U.S futures and options exchange.

Eurex US traded 39,441 contracts in U.S. Treasury futures on its first trading day, according to the exchange. The future on the 10 year Treasury Note was the most actively traded contract with 25,472 contracts traded.

Currently more than 1800 traders from over 100 member firms are connected to Eurex US. A total of 36 market makers provide liquidity to the new marketplace. The exchange currently maintains markets for futures and options on 2-, 5- and 10-year Treasury notes and on 30-year Treasury bonds. Pending approval, Eurex US said it will expand its offerings to include trading in futures and options on 2-, 5- and 10-year Euro-denominated interest rate products as well as futures on the European DAX and Dow Jones Euro STOXX 50 SM stock indexes.

The exchange was anticipating a February 1, 2004 launch date, but suffered several delays at the end of 2003.  An early 2004 launch was important to Eurex's success in the U.S., as traders roll over their positions.

In October the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said the exchange's U.S. application would require 180 days, instead of a sixty-day 'fast track' process.  

Eurex will be competing directly with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).   Even before the launch, the Eurex has been embroiled in a dispute with the CME and CBOT, with the Eurex suing the two Chicago exchanges, claiming that they were illegally trying to prevent the Eurex from becoming a U.S. exchange.  The CME and CBOT, in turn, questioned the rebate scheme that the Eurex planned to provide with prospective investors.

Eurex, the world's largest derivatives exchange, closed out 2003 with record turnover of over one billion contracts traded, about 27 percent higher than 2002, when 801 million contracts were traded.


Eurex Enjoys Strong 2003

In equity-based derivatives, 33.8 million contracts were traded at Eurex in December 2003, comprising 19.9 million contracts in the equity-index derivatives segment and 13.9 million contracts in the equity options segment. The turnover in equity-index derivatives rose six percent, year on year. 

In the equity-based products, Eurex volume increased by about 28 percent in 2003, to more than 447 million contracts traded, compared with 350 million contracts in 2002. The index products segment showed 24 percent growth. The future on the DJ Euro-STOXX 50 was the strongest in this segment, with 115 million contracts traded. The equity options segment turned over 186 million contracts, increasing by about 30 percent.

Eurex turnover generated by U.S. and UK based Eurex customers has reached 565 million contracts or 57 percent of worldwide turnover, up from approximately 22 percent in 1998, the year of the merger of DTB (Deutsche Terminbörse) and SOFFEX (Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange). Eurex is owned in equal parts by Deutsche Börse AG and the Swiss Exchange.



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