The total number of futures and options traded worldwide in the first half of the year reached 16.6 billion contracts, up 11% compared to the first half of 2018. Futures volume reached 9.3 billion contracts in the first half of the year, up 9% from the first half of 2018. Options volume reached 7.3 billion contracts, up 13%.
Open interest, which measures the number of outstanding contracts at a single point in time, stood at 884.6 million contracts at the end of June, up 4% from a year ago. More than two thirds of those contracts were options.
FIA measures volume and open interest by the number of contracts traded and/or cleared on derivatives exchanges. The statistics are collected on a monthly basis from more than 80 exchanges worldwide.
Other significant highlights in today’s report:
Asia-Pacific and Latin America exhibit strong growth
Asia-Pacific was the largest region in terms of overall volume. The total number of futures and options traded on exchanges in that region reached 6.8 billion contracts in the first half of 2019, up 32% over the first half of 2018. Trading activity on Latin American exchanges also grew very rapidly, up 36% to 1.9 billion contracts in the first half of 2019.
Trading activity in North America and Europe moved in the opposite direction. The number of futures and options traded on exchanges in the U.S. and Canada declined 5% to 5.1 billion contracts in the first half of 2019. Volume on European derivatives exchanges declined 7% to 2.5 billion contracts in the first half of 2019.
Equity index volume up 23%, interest rate open interest up 24%
The fastest rate of growth was in the equity index sector, where volume rose 23% over the first half of 2018. The total number of equity index futures and options traded on exchanges in the first half of 2019 reached 5.9 billion contracts, 35% of the total industry-wide volume. Trading activity also grew rapidly in the energy and precious metals categories.
Trading activity in the interest rate category was roughly unchanged from the previous year, with total volume reaching 2.4 billion contracts. On the other hand, open interest in interest rate futures and options rose 24% to 211 million.
The non-precious metals category, which includes futures and options on copper, aluminum, steel and other industrial metals, was the category that saw the greatest decline in trading activity. First half volume was 694 million contracts, down 10% from the previous year. Open interest rose 6%, however, to 9.6 million contracts.
Exchange Ranking: India’s NSE surpasses CME in volume but not open interest
The National Stock Exchange of India continued its rapid growth in the first half of 2019. Trading volume on NSE jumped 67% to 2.7 billion contracts, driven mainly by increased trading of its equity index options. CME Group came in second with trading volume of 2.5 billion contracts in the first half of 2019, down 3% from previous year.
Measured by trading volume, NSE was the largest derivatives exchange in the world in the first half of 2019, the first time in its history that it has ranked so high. Open interest tells a different story, however. NSE’s clearinghouse only had 8.3 million contracts in open positions at the end of June. In contrast, CME’s open interest at the end of June was 141 million contracts, second only to the OCC, which clears futures and options for six groups of U.S. exchanges.
Eurex ranked as the largest derivatives exchange in Europe in terms of both trading volume and open interest. Total volume in the first half of 2019 was 1 billion contracts, down 2% from the previous year. Open interest rose to 136 million contracts, up 9% over the previous year.
B3, Latin America’s largest exchange, continued to grow at a rapid rate. Total volume rose 35% to 1.8 billion, making it the third largest exchange in the world by trading volume. Open interest rose 20% to 94 million contracts at the end of June, fourth largest in the world.
FIA provides its members with monthly reports on trading activity in the exchange-traded derivatives markets. FIA also publishes statistics on trading activity on swap execution facilities and customer funds held at futures commission merchants in the U.S. To access these statistics, visit our industry data page.
For more information, contact Will Acworth at +1 202.466.5460.