Options Trading Reaches Historic Level

CHICAGO (HedgeWorld.com)--Options contracts were issued at a feverish pace at U.S. exchanges last month.

The trend falls in line with the records set in recent weeks at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, activity that officials attribute to hedge funds using risk management techniques that rely on options.

The Options Clearing Corp. reported a monthly volume record for total options trading in April, with more than 124 million contracts changing hands. That figure represents a 21.2% increase from April 2004.

On April 15, equity and index options trading reached a new daily high point of 11.3 million contracts, which was 31.4% higher than the previous record set on January 16, 2004.

Volume is about 13% higher than it was at this point in 2004, which itself was a record year for options exchanges, said Michael Walinskas, executive director of the Options Industry Council.

SBarreto@HedgeWorld.com

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com.

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