DAX and SMI Options see large volume growth in April
Equity markets continued the march upward, which brought a reduction in realized volatility during April. There is an increasing gap between the concerning macro-economic picture and the rather placid behavior of broad developed equity markets. This contrast masks some odd trends, such as the outsized positive impact from a select group of mega-cap technology stocks that can be counted on one hand but are responsible for the overwhelming positive equity market performance in the US. As I write this commentary, investors await the global bellwether, Apple, to report earnings. Could that be a catalyst to reverse this apparent divergence? There are notable clouds on the horizon as the US politicians get ready to negotiate the debt ceiling again, just as more US regional banks look close to needing rescue over fears linked to commercial real estate loans.
Eurex volumes have seen some bright spots of action: both DAX and SMI index options saw a +40% increase compared to April last year. VSTOXX® options also experienced solid volume growth. The Banks sector dividend futures and the EURO STOXX 50® dividend options also saw a good level of trading interest. KOSPI weekly options and KOSPI 200 futures were again highly active. Most comforting were the increased volumes in the EURO STOXX 50® weekly options, given this was an anticipated deliverable from the NextGen ETD project.
April marked a significant milestone in our product roadmap with the listing of the FTSE Bitcoin USD and EUR index futures. We have seen early trading activity supported by no less than five liquidity providers, creating a tight order book spread. We will also shortly communicate another launch, this time in our ETF options segment, where we will add ETFs that track Chinese equities. Members can also expect to see announcements on the regulatory-driven updates to minimum block trade sizes later in May.
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