CME Group interest rate products

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CME Group offers a listing of interest rate futures and options products, and its Eurodollar futures contract is one of the world's most actively traded futures offerings.[1]. In terms of broad institutional usage, the Eurodollar option stands at the top of the heap among options products.

CME Group interest rate products span the entire U.S. dollar-denominated yield curve following the merger of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange - which traditionally focused on shorter-dated terms - and the Chicago Board of Trade, which was most active at the longer end of the yield curve.

Short-, medium- and long-term interest rate risk can be managed with products based on Eurodollars, U.S. Treasuries, swaps, other dollar-related instruments, and products for managing interest rate risk in Europe and Asia.

CME Group interest rate futures products are primarily traded electronically, while others are traded both electronically and side by side through open outcry on the trading floor.


CME Group interest rate futures and options products

CME-originated products

CBOT-originated products

Regulation and Clearing

Regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CME Group's interest rate product customers deal anonymously in a fully transparent market, where large and small customers have equal access to the same prices and same deep pool of liquidity. A central futures clearing mechanism, CME Clearing, settles all trades and acts as the counterparty between buyers and sellers, thus virtually guaranteeing the creditworthiness of every transaction.

History

With the merger of CME and the Chicago Board of Trade in July 2007, the merged exchange can claim introduction of the first interest rate futures product in the mid-1970s -- futures on GNMA (Government National Mortgage Association) instruments launched in October 1975 on the Chicago Board of Trade. (Though this was the first interest rate futures contract, it no longer trades and has been delisted for some time.) Just a few months after GNMA futures were launched, in early 1976 Chicago Mercantile Exchange answered with futures on 90-day Treasury bills, and in 1978, the CBOT introduced futures on 30-year Treasury bonds.

Eurodollar futures, the first cash-settled contract, which set the course for scores of other contracts to adopt cash settlement in future years, was introduced at CME in 1981. The contract called for settlement in cash, in effect a payment on the last trading day of the difference between a reputable, independent and widely accepted cash price and the futures price. The cash-settlement innovation safeguarded the futures contract's usefulness to hedgers and opened the way for new types of contracts on which a delivery option would be impossible or prohibitively expensive.

Again, generally, CME and CBOT concentrated their individual interest rate listings at different ends of the yield curve - CME offering products at the shorter end and CBOT at the longer-dated end.

New Products

  • CME Group announced that in the first quarter of 2008, it plans to launch CME Swaps on Swapstream, the first OTC interest rate swap to offer the full benefits and financial safeguards of central counterparty clearing. CME Swaps on Swapstream will include forward-dated interest rate swaps denominated in U.S. dollars and in the euro and will be traded on the Swapstream sPro™ platform. (CME in July 2006 acquired London-based Swapstream, an interdealer electronic trading platform for interest rate swaps, for $15 million.)[2]
  • In mid-June of 2009, CME Group announced the addition of options on 5-, 7-, 10- and 30-Year interest rate swap futures, beginning July 13, 2009.[3]
  • On January 11, 2010, CME Group launched trading in ultra-long interest-rate bonds. The new ultra bond futures require deliveries of maturities 25 years and longer, meaning that the new contract will more closely track the price of longer bonds.[4]

Other CME Group Product Areas

References

  1. Volume growth accelerates. FI Magazine.
  2. "Breaking News: CME Acquires Swapstream Trading Platform, 7/5/06”. www.swapstream.com.
  3. Press Release. PR Newswire.
  4. CME, Rival ELX Vie for Volume on Longest End of Yield Curve. The Wall Street Journal.