ISE Plans To Cash In On Gold Options
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ISE Plans To Cash In On Gold Options

The International Securities Exchange is planning to list options on exchange-traded fund shares invested in securities, gold and cash. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently allowed the New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange to start trading two gold ETFs, the streetTRACKS Gold Shares and the iShares COMEX Gold Trust Shares, respectively. The ISE, along with rival Chicago Board Options Exchange, have long eyed commodity pool ETFs in order to get more leverage in the burgeoning energy and gold markets (WSL, 3/20). The SEC has relaxed rules for commodity pool ETFs, deeming them to be securities rather than commodities and therefore allowing options exchanges to trade them.

The price of the streetTRACKS shares has soared 103.78% in the past year and the ETFs trade more than a million shares daily. It holds more than 80% of all gold assets tracked by ETFs. Several traders said the options could become very lucrative since there are few ways to hedge investments in commodity ETFs. The ISE has entered into an information sharing agreement with the New York Mercantile Exchange to track performance of the securities. The CBOE has filed a similar proposal.

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