During a month that saw high volatility, Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) reported record activity on its online marketplace during the month of August. Average daily volume (ADV) for ICE futures, its London-based regulated futures subsidiary, totaled 406,037 contracts for an eighth consecutive monthly record, an increase of 115.1% over August 2005’s 188,757 contracts.

In addition, average daily commissions in ICE’s over-the-counter (OTC) business segment in August rose 84.7% to $799,017 over August 2005’s $432,648.

The exchange reported that record monthly volume in ICE futures’ light sweet crude contracts, Brent crude futures and ICE WTI crude futures, as well as ICE gas oil futures contracts, helped to produce the exchange-wide monthly volume record. Total monthly futures volume rose 124.9% to a record 9.34 million contracts, compared to total monthly volume of 4.15 million contracts in August 2005. The previous monthly record was set in July 2006 at 8.1 million contracts. ICE Futures established a new exchange-wide daily volume record on Aug. 7 of 567,361, exceeding a half-million in contract volume for the first time in its history.

More importantly, ICE continues to gain exchange-traded market share. For the third consecutive month, ICE reported that ICE Futures averaged greater than 50% market share in global crude futures as measured by volume of light sweet crude oil.

Regarding the company’s OTC business segment, ICE said its average daily commissions reflect daily trading activity in the company’s electronic OTC markets.

“The increase in average daily commission was driven by ICE’s cleared OTC contracts, which include dozens of new cleared contracts introduced in 2006, new participants, and price volatility in energy commodities,” the company said. “During the month, increased risk-management activity was also associated with a prolonged heat wave in North America, the threat of hurricanes and geopolitical concerns.”

At ICE futures, August 2006 average daily volume of 406,037 contracts surpassed the previous ADV record set in July 2006 of 385,809 contracts by 5.2% (see Daily GPI, Aug. 4).

ICE Brent crude futures monthly volume totaled a record 4,044,472 contracts, and ADV was 175,847 contracts, an increase of 21.6% compared to August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina drove increased trading activity due to the production losses on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The ICE Brent crude futures contract established a daily volume record of 252,296 contracts on Aug. 10 and an open interest record of 529,019 contracts on August 7.

The ICE WTI crude futures contract also established a monthly volume record in August of 3.3 million contracts and a new ADV record of 143,823 contracts, an increase of 16.6% over the previous ADV record set in July 2006. A daily volume record was established on Aug. 7 of 241,503 contracts, and an open interest record of 328,340 contracts was established on Aug. 18.

ICE also noted that monthly volume in ICE gas oil futures in August more than doubled compared to August 2005, to a record 1.85 million contracts, an increase of 101.7% compared to August 2005. The contract set a new open interest record on Aug. 2 at 280,559 contracts.

At Aug. 31, 2006, total open interest in ICE futures contracts stood at 1,168,445 contracts, after establishing a new open interest record of 1,201,553 contracts on Aug. 7.

Late during the month of August, ICE futures expanded the trading hours for “key products” to “further broaden access to energy market participants around the world.” Beginning Aug. 21, ICE futures pushed closing an hour back to 6 p.m. ET in the following contracts and their related arbitrage and crack markets: ICE Brent crude futures and options, ICE gas oil futures and options, ICE WTI crude futures, ICE heating oil futures and ICE RBOB gasoline futures.

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