CME Group sees mixed FX volumes, micro BTC futures average 21K contracts

abdelaziz Fathi

CME Group (NASDAQ: CME), the holding company for CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX exchanges, has just released its trading monthly review for September 2021, which showed a mixed performance across the group’s six product lines, according to a CME statement.

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On an aggregated basis, CME’s ADV total futures and options was higher by 11 percent year-over-year, coming in at 18.8 million per day compared to 16.93 million in September 2020.

During September 2021, total FX volumes averaged 975,000 contracts per day, which represented a drop of three percent year-on-year from more than a million contracts per day in the previous year. Across a monthly interval, however, the latest figure was up 56 percent from 624,000 contracts per day in August 2021.

Delving into details, metals volumes were lower after shedding 40 percent year-on-year with just 437,000 contracts traded daily, while energies turnover climbed 14 percent relative to last year.

During the reported period, CME Group’s average daily equity derivative volumes were pointed lower, coming in at 6.37 million contracts for the month, down by 8 percent from 6.9 million in the same period last year. However, the figure reflects a stronger performance on the monthly basis, rising nearly 52 percent compared to 4.1 million in the prior month.

Moreover, the CME provided updated metrics about its micro Bitcoin futures, which averaged 21,000 contracts, including more than 2.1 million total contracts since their launch in May.

Roughly two and half years after the launch of the world’s first Bitcoin futures, CME Group brought another level of diversification to cryptocurrency traders with a micro Bitcoin futures contract.

Closely tied to its older brother, the smaller-sized contract is based on the same underlying reference index, the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate, and is settled in cash. The index was developed in partnership with CF Benchmarks to provide real-time BTC price in dollars. The index references pricing data using transactions and order book activity from several cryptocurrency exchanges, currently made up of Kraken, Bitstamp, Coinbase, Gemini and ItBit .

The micro contract, which made its debut on May 3, has just 1/10 of the notional value of the original contract.

Chicago-based CME said the move marks a new development in the nascent crypto futures market that gives new access to retail investors, either those looking to branch into different markets or struggling to participate due to limited capitalization.

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