Swiss German derivatives exchange Eurex has confirmed the 8 February date for the start of trading on its new Chicago-based exchange following approval by US regulators.
In a public meeting yesterday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) voted unanimously to designate the US Futures Exchange as a contract market for the automated trading of futures and options on futures contracts. The decision signals the end of the phoney war between Eurex and incumbent open outcry markets in Chicago, setting the stage for a new era of competition in exchange-based futures and options trading.
Eurex US will initially offer trading in futures and options on two, five and ten-year treasury notes and on 30-year treasury bonds. According to Eurex over 100 customers have completed simulation testing and thirty-six market participants have signed up for the market maker programme.
The Chicago Board of Trade, Eurex's principal rival for business volume has already moved to ward off the threat by announcing plans to waive or reduce electronic trading fees on treasury contracts and introduce electronic trading of German government debt contracts — a key Eurex business.