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ICE's June Volumes Jump as CME's Slump

Commodity trading exchanges are continuing to weather the 2008-2009 recession, but Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), operator of regulated global futures exchanges, clearinghouses and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, recorded volume growth June-over-June while Chicago-based CME Group, which bills itself as the world's largest and most diverse derivatives exchange, reported a volume decrease, according to data provided by the rivals.

During the month, ICE across its three regulated futures exchanges -- ICE Futures Europe, ICE Futures U.S. and ICE Futures Canada -- transacted a record average daily volume (ADV) of 1,088,525 contracts, up 14% from June 2008. CME Group's Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade and New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) transacted a combined average daily volume for June of 11,389,000 contracts, down 20% from June 2008.

ICE Futures Europe, ICE's London-based energy futures exchange, reported monthly volume of 13.8 million contracts, an increase of 7% from the 13 million contracts in June 2008. ADV in June 2009 was 628,829 contracts, up 2% from 617,990 the previous June. In 2Q2009, ADV at ICE Futures Europe dropped to 606,289 contracts from 610,187 contracts in 2Q2008.

While ICE's regulated exchange volumes were up, profits were down for its OTC energy markets. Average daily commissions (ADC) for ICE OTC were $1.1 million in 2Q2009, a decrease of 8% from $1.2 million in 2Q2008. Sequentially, ADC increased 4% from 1Q2009. ADC reflects daily trading and clearing activity in ICE's global OTC energy markets.

Total Nymex volume averaged 1.7 million contracts for June 2009, down 4% compared with the same period last year, but up 1% compared with May 2009, CME Group said. Monthly Nymex energy futures and options volume averaged 975,000 contracts per day, down 13% from June 2008, but up 5% from May 2009. Average daily volume cleared through CME ClearPort was 542,000 contracts for June 2009, up 33% compared with June 2008, "as users continue to seek the safety and soundness of CME Group's regulated, centrally cleared markets," the exchange holding company said.

Total volume conducted on CME Group exchanges during June were 251 million contracts, of which 79% was traded electronically. Electronic volume averaged 9 million contracts per day, down 21% from the prior June, but up 6% from May 2009.

"In the current financial environment, we are encouraged by record 2009 monthly volume across major products lines, from interest rates and foreign exchange to commodities and alternative investments," said Terry Duffy, CME Group executive chairman. "In addition, the 33% increase in over-the-counter volume cleared through CME ClearPort is a good indicator that the OTC market continues moving toward the safety and soundness our cleared solution offers."

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