ISE foreign exchange options go live

The contracts, which are linked to four liquid currency pairs, are the first foreign exchange-based contracts to trade on the ISE. They will be cash-settled in US dollars, and will reference indexes based on the USD/EUR, USD/GBP, USD/JPY and USD/CAD cross rates.

Bruce Goldberg, chief marketing officer, said demand for the new contracts had come from a mixture of ISE’s clients. “Customers have professed demand for these, and this has come from both the full-service segment of broker-dealers in the US, as well as from online broker-dealers.” He added the exchange had received regulatory approval for 19 currency pairs in total, with the others to be launched at a later date.

Underlying values for the cross rate indexes have been publicly available via various market data providers since November 2006 (See also: ISE publishes rates for FX options launch). Broker Timber Hill has been named as primary market maker in all four of the new contracts. Their launch puts ISE in competition with domestic rival the Philadelphia Exchange, which has been trading options on world currencies since 1982.

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