Pennies for a price

US regulators are pushing for penny quoting at US equity options exchanges to encourage more competitive pricing. But critics question whether the exchanges' technology will buckle under the weight of increased quote traffic. Jayne Jung reports


The US-listed equity derivatives market will begin a bold experiment on January 26 next year. This will mark the start of a six-month pilot programme, during which some option prices will be quoted in single-cent increments, or pennies, rather than in nickel (five cents) or dime (10 cents) intervals. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested that six exchanges - the American Stock Exchange, Boston Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange

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