Eurex extends equity trading hours to appeal to Asia

Eurex is to extend trading of its euro-denominated equity index products by one hour from June 1, as the exchange seeks to draw in more trade from clients in Asia-Pacific time zones. Trading will begin at 8am Central European Time instead of the current 9am, and close as scheduled currently.

This brings the equity index market into line with Eurex’s interest rate derivatives, which already open one hour early. Last November, the exchange also extended trading hours on some of its benchmark products to 10pm to cover a greater part of the US trading day, although some markets still close at 5:30pm.

“Asia is a market of significant importance to Eurex,” said Peter Reitz, member of the executive board of Eurex. “Following the receipt of market operator status by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in late 2005, Eurex is building a telecommunications hub in Singapore and is currently in the process of connecting market participants to the Eurex system.”

Equity derivatives have been steadily growing in most parts of the world, and reached record levels in 2005 as investors sought to lock-in or profit from the recent upward trend in stock prices. Indeed, Eurex reported March was its strongest trading month ever, with 149 million contracts traded – an increase of 27% compared with the previous year.

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