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ICE's November Trading Volume Rises as CME Group's Declines

Global trading exchange competitors Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) and Chicago-based CME Group saw very different Novembers as ICE recorded a 8.9% average daily volume (ADV) increase from November 2007, while CME posted a 29% drop when comparing the same two months.

ICE, which operates regulated global futures exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, reported ADV for all ICE futures contracts of 876,393 for the month, up from 804,944 contracts in November 2007. CME Group, which bills itself as "the world's largest and most diverse derivatives exchange," announced that November 2008 volume averaged 10.5 million contracts per day, down from the 14.7 million contracts per day during November 2007, assuming combined CME Group/New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) volumes (see NGI, Sept. 1).

The news was similar for the companies' 3Q2008 earnings, which were reported early last month. ICE recorded a 12% jump and CME Group posted a 16% drop in net incomes when compared to the companies' respective 3Q2007 results. Likewise, ICE saw trading volumes rise in 3Q2008 over 3Q2007, while CME Group reported a small decline (see NGI, Nov. 3).

Last week ICE said its total volume was 17.4 million contracts across its futures exchanges for the month of November 2008, a modest increase over November 2007. ICE operates three regulated futures exchanges: ICE Futures Europe, ICE Futures U.S. and ICE Futures Canada, in addition to its global OTC markets for energy and credit derivatives. November 2008 ADV for ICE Futures U.S. was 52% larger than November 2007, while ICE Futures Europe and ICE Futures Canada recorded drops of 4.9% and 45.5%, respectively.

Over at CME Group, total monthly volume exceeded 199 million contracts, 79% of which was traded electronically. On a combined basis, CME Group year-to-date volume through November averaged 13.4 million contracts per day, up 7% from the same period in 2007.

Total Nymex volume averaged 1.6 million contracts for November 2008, down 3% compared with the same period last year. The company reported that monthly Nymex energy futures and options volume averaged 832,000 contracts per day, down 15% from November 2007.

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