Swiss German derivatives exchange Eurex is extending the trading hours for its benchmark products to 10pm German time - 3pm Chicago time - in a bid to boost business by covering more of the US trading day.
The exchange says the new trading hours will apply to euro fixed income products as well as equity index futures and futures on the DAX and Dow Jones Euro STOXX indices. However, trading hours for equity options and equity index options will remain unchanged.
Fixed-income products are currently traded until 7pm CET and index futures until 8pm CET, which prevents US dealers from trading Eurex's euro-denominated products for roughly half of the US trading day.
Commenting on the move, Rudolf Ferscha, CEO, Eurex, says the exchange is aiming to optimise distribution in the US market: "With our extended trading hours we are meeting customer demand for longer trading hours of Eurex benchmark products into the US trading afternoon."
The move is part of the exchange's attempt to attract more US business. Although the exchange opened a US trading platform last year it has struggled to compete against the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and has failed to capture a significant share of the market.
The US exchange was initially launched in an effort to challenge Chicago's dominance in trading of US Treasury futures but Eurex recently admitted that it had failed to make inroads - treasury volume on Eurex US was rumoured to be less than one per cent of that in comparable CBOT contracts in May. The Swiss German exchange and has since announced plans to begin trading foreign exchange futures as of September, a move seen as a direct threat to the CME.
The new extended hours won't be introduced until November 21 this year. Meanwhile both Cbot and CME, as well as pan-European exchange Euronext.Liffe, already provide 24-hour access to electronic trading platforms and are also expanding distribution of products in Europe and Asia.