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CME to launch option on E-mini NASDAQ-100 futures contracts

CME, the US futures exchange, will launch new equity options on E-mini™ NASDAQ-100® futures contracts.

The E-mini contract is a smaller sized, electronically traded version of CME's standard NASDAQ-100 futures, which track the NASDAQ-100 Index.  E-mini NASDAQ-100 equity options contracts will be listed for trading at 5:00 p.m., Central Time, on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2004.

To help ensure liquidity in this new market, CME will select seven firms to commit to provide continuous, transparent and competitive markets for the exchange's E-mini NASDAQ-100 equity options traded on CME Globex®.  In addition, the current CME Globex customer electronic trading fee waiver for the CME's E-Mini S&P 500® options on futures contracts will also be extended to E-mini NASDAQ-100 options.

"The addition of our new E-mini NASDAQ-100 equity options is a natural extension of CME's equity complex and is further evidence of our efforts to increase trading volume for our core product groups," said CME Chairman Terry Duffy.  "It also provides investors with an alternative tool to either leverage or hedge movements in the high-tech equity market."

"Promoting growth in our financial options market is a key element of CME's overall growth strategy and, with enhanced technology, we have made significant strides in recent months," stated Craig Donohue, CME's Chief Executive Officer.  Since launching our enhanced options system technology platform in August, volume in CME Eurodollar options has increased to an average daily volume of more than 9,200 in October."

Donohue added, "Last month, to facilitate continued growth in our E-mini S&P 500 equity options market, we introduced a nine-month CME Globex customer fee waiver and selected seven firms as market makers.  Average daily volume for the first seven trading days of November has averaged about 4,500 contracts and open interest is at a record of more than 48,000 contracts."

"Options on futures are a powerful risk management tool and, over time, we anticipate further expanding our industry-leading range of equity options to better meet our customers' needs," said Tina Lemieux, Director, Equity Products.


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