Eurex trading volume nudges ahead of CME

CME Group reported on Tuesday that its trading volume for January averaged 9.5 million contracts per day, down 41% on January 2008, while Eurex reported that it traded an average of 10.5 million contracts per day in January, up from 9.4 million contracts per day in January 2008.

The month-end results put Eurex ahead of CME Group by trading volume, even though the Chicago-based group has recently been the front runner. As recently as November 2008, CME Group achieved a total volume of 199 million contracts - significantly greater than Eurex's 140.5 million contracts.

The news follows a sharp drop in business in the last few months of last year - trading volumes dropped by just over 22% in the fourth quarter of 2008, from an average of 11.4 million contracts per day in Q3 to 8.9 million contracts per day in Q4. Substantial falls were recorded across almost all asset classes, with a 39% drop in interest rate products from an average daily volume of 6 million in Q3 to 3.7 million in Q4. Only the exchange's equity e-mini product saw increased volumes, going from 3.6 million contracts per day in Q3 to 3.8 million contracts per day in Q4.

In 2008, Eurex traded 2.17 billion contracts, up from 1.9 billion in 2007. Equity index derivatives rose from 754 million in 2007 to 1.025 billion (36%) in 2008. Equity derivatives (options and single stock futures) grew by 28% to 480 million contracts. But interest rate derivatives dropped from 771 million contracts in 2007 to 658 million in 2008.

Despite the fall in volumes, CME Group increased its overall fourth quarter revenues by 31% to $692 million. Full-year revenues for 2008 increased 11% to $3.1 billion.

US-based IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) last month reported that volume for all ICE futures contracts in the US, Europe and Canada increased by 21% in 2008 to 237.2 million.

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