Futures exchange

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A futures exchange (also a derivatives exchange or options exchange ) is an exchange on which forward transactions ( futures and options ) are traded.


The contracts are usually called contracts , and the market participants are also called counterparties . When the transaction is concluded, there is no mutual fulfillment , but the settlement will only take place in the future. In contrast, there is the cash exchange , where the closed contract is fulfilled "immediately", that is, at least within two trading days .

The futures exchange is a pure computer exchange in which only traders and market makers act as market participants . In contrast to floor exchanges, there are no lead brokers on futures exchanges .

Legal issues

The Exchange Act (BörsG) differs in § 2 BörsG between stock exchanges and commodity exchanges , according to the latter § 2. 3 BörsG for commodity futures ( commodities ) to § 2 , para. 5 WpHG , freight rates , air conditioning or other physical variables ( weather derivatives ), inflation or other economic indicators or other assets, indices or measured values are responsible as underlyings or derivatives .

Todays situation

The largest and probably best-known futures exchanges are the German-Swiss EUREX , the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to which the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT) has also belonged since 2007 , and the London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE) . In addition to other large futures exchanges (eight in the USA alone), there are also numerous futures exchanges in many countries that are exclusively of regional importance. In Germany, in addition to EUREX, there is also EEX (European Energy Exchange) in Leipzig. Until 2009, the company was also traded on the RMX Risk Management Exchange AG Hanover, but the stock exchange operator then returned its listing.

The purpose of an exchange is the temporal and spatial (or, more recently, virtual) concentration of trading and thus increasing efficiency and market liquidity , reducing transaction costs and protecting against manipulation. In addition, the publicity of the market results in a noticeable reduction in information costs .

Most traded contracts

The futures contracts traded on the futures exchanges are:

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME): Eurodollar , S&P 500 , currency futures (Euro, Yen, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling)
  • Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT): US Treasury Bonds / Notes
  • Eurex : futures and options on stocks, stock indices and bonds
  • London International Financial Futures Exchange (Euronext. LIFFE ): Euribor , 3M-Sterling, Long Gilt, Financial Times Index
  • Marché à Terme International de France ( MATIF ), Euronext
  • Singapore Exchange
  • EEX: electricity, CO 2 emissions, coal, gas

Market overview

The world's largest derivatives exchanges by trading volume (EUR per year) are:

  1. CME Group - 3.28 billion
  2. Eurex (including ISE) - 3.17 billion
  3. Korea Exchange - 2.87 billion
  4. NYSE Euronext - 1.68 billion
  5. CBOE (including CFE) - 1.19 billion

The attempt to break the supremacy of the American CME (including the earlier CBOT) has been undertaken by various trading systems with only limited success. The fixed income specialists at BrokerTec put a trading system called “BrokerTec Futures Exchange” into operation in 2001, but discontinued it in 2003 due to a lack of liquidity in trading. In 2004, the dominant European exchange, Eurex , made an unsuccessful attempt to enter the market with “Eurex US”. The youngest competitor on the American futures market is ELX Futures , which started trading in July 2009 with the aim of gaining significant market shares from CME.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Bitz / Gunnar Stark, Finanzdienstleistungen , 2008, p. 365
  2. Financial Times Deutschland of July 10, 2009, p. 21