CFTC approves use of single-stock futures

The CFTC voted unanimously to approve customer margin rules - the amount of capital retail investors need to deposit with a broker to facilitate the trading of SSFs.

Commenting on the vote, CFTC chairman James Newsome said although it was important to complete the process in a timely manner, it was equally important that the rules were right and would function well in the market-place. “I think we have struck the appropriate balance,” said Newsome.

Two years ago the US Congress lifted a 20-year ban on the trading of security futures – single-stock futures and index-based equity futures. But the need for approval by two regulators, the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), means actual trading is yet to take place.

The SEC is still to approve the use of single-stock futures and has not given a date for when this will happen. But SEC approval is expected in the coming months.

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