CME Group is aiming to make equity index futures trading more accessible to active traders through the launch of Micro E-mini futures on the S&P 500, Nasdaq-100, Russell 2000 and Dow Jones Industrial Average indexes.
The new Micro E-mini contracts will be one-tenth the size of CME Group's existing E-mini futures on the respective equity indexes. They will be available for trading in May 2019.
"Futures trading has been growing in popularity for active traders all over the world," says Tim McCourt (pictured), CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products. "The smaller contract size of Micro E-mini equity index futures will make it easier to more nimbly execute a variety of equity trading strategies, while benefiting from the deep liquidity that CME Group markets offer around the clock."
"Equities are well-known and popular futures contracts among our customers," says Steven Sanders, Executive Vice President Marketing and Product Development at Interactive Brokers. "This smaller sized contract is a next-generation product for the next generation of individual, sophisticated traders."
"Today, futures might be a great tool for sophisticated, self-directed traders," says JB Mackenzie, Managing Director of Futures and Forex at TD Ameritrade. "The Micro E-mini futures can be a good match for those self-directed active traders who want more product choices within their overall portfolio."
"This is a significant development for customers looking to benefit from capital efficiencies in trading futures," says Daniel Ryba, Vice President of futures at E*TRADE Financial. "These smaller products can allow sophisticated traders to participate in the nearly 24/7 futures market —it's an exciting announcement for the industry and its participants."
"Market-moving events often happen outside of US trading hours, when the stock markets are closed," says Nick LaMaina, Senior Vice President Strategic Brokerage Services at TradeStation Securities, Inc. "This coupled with the smaller contract size of the new Micro E-mini futures means that more investors around the world will be able to gain exposure to benchmark US equity indexes."
More active traders are participating in the futures market than ever before. In 2018, CME Group's non-institutional trading business grew 27 per cent compared to the previous year, with active traders averaging 660,000 contracts each day. Globally, active trader participation in CME Group markets grew 30 per cent in Asia and 36 per cent in Europe last year.
Pending regulatory review, Micro E-mini equity index futures will be listed with and subject to the rules of CME and CBOT.
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