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Over 17 million contracts traded on French derivatives markets in April, Matif strengthens its lead as the top electronic market for 3-month Euribor contract

Date 06/05/1999

April figures show a total 17,516,199 contracts changed hands on French derivatives markets Matif and Monep, a rise of nearly 7% on March. Open interest was up across the entire line of derivative products. Gross open interest in the Euro Notional contract rose 11.8% on March to total 217,562 lots at the end of the month. April was the first month of trading in only multi-issuer contracts based on both French and German government issues. With short-term rates showing low volatility, trading in the 3-month Euribor contract fell back over the month. Yet gross open interest edged up 1.9% to total 269,998 lots. It is the top-ranked short-term contract traded electronically. Market making is developing satisfactorily, and has led to both very narrow spreads (1 tick at all times for the first year of deliveries) and large volumes, with the five best bids and asks displayed on screen by major data vendors. Trading in equity options rose more than 50%, with Eurotunnel providing most of the impetus. At the end of the month, open interest stood at more than 12 million contracts, 135% higher than the month before. The CAC 40 future saw light trading, traditionally the case in April following the close of the quarterly delivery in March. Open interest nonetheless rose 24.8%. compared to the previous month. Trade in Matif's rapeseed future was up 85% year-on-year in the first four months of 1999. The trading tick has just been halved from 0.5 EUR to 0.25 EUR per tonne for all deliveries. A rapeseed option is to be launched at the end of May.