The developed equity markets trended up during the first quarter of the year, bringing with it a slow downtrend in realized and implied volatility that accelerated in March. For Eurex, Q1 was especially busy with product launches. We announced the FTSE 100 Index TRF and Dividend Futures, STOXX® Banks Sector and Select Dividend 30 Index TRFs, big KOSPI Futures, Phase 2 of our RSS futures and also the compression service.
The past year has proven a catalyst for some already well-observed themes. The highest profile here was the adoption speed of ESG benchmarks by the financial markets, delivering record Q1 volumes across our ESG segment. The most active products remained the STOXX® Europe 600 ESG-X and the MSCI EM ESG screened. However, the most significant development were the large ESG-X option prints, bringing attention beyond the traditional futures volumes.
Other patterns revealed in the data show significant increases in sector futures throughout the quarter: Oil & Gas, Banks, Basic Resources, Telco, Insurance, Travel & Leisure and Technology were all highly active as investors picked through the pandemic impacts to position themselves accordingly. The other standout statistic came in the MSCI segment. Here, volume increases were diverse and spread across the large regional benchmark futures and options, individual country index futures, global sectors, and the factor futures.
Members and clients can expect Q2 to bring a new range of products and service offerings. Most widely anticipated is the rollout of our new micro futures segment. Starting with the SMI®, DAX® and EURO STOXX 50® Micro Futures later this month.
Zubin Ramdarshan, Head of Equity & Index Product Design, Eurex
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