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The IntercontinentalExchange: ICE, ICE baby

The IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) is not the first to see its volumes increase by migrating to electronic trading. Its move on March 3 to make all futures trading of its Dollar Index contract electronic has resulted in a surge in activity.

Clearly, the market’s volatility has helped, but widening the product’s distribution would also seem to be a factor, as well as a calendar roll. Yesterday (Thursday March 13), a total of 46,382 contracts changed hands, beating the previous record, which was only set on March 7, by a whopping 63%.

The Dollar Index contract, established in 1973, includes six currencies (EUR, JPY, GBP, CAD, SEK and CHF). It used to trade on the old New York Board of Trade and Finex (Dublin) floors and has been a relatively successful, if also relatively niche, product. If the exchange maintains such growth rates, it will undoubtedly come to the attention of a wider audience.

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