LONDON, May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global regulated futures exchanges, clearing houses and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, reported record daily volume in ICE Brent Crude options of 78,508 contracts on May 24, 2012. The previous daily volume record was 63,494 on May 2, 2012.
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Average daily volume for ICE Brent Crude options is 45,664 to date in May, up more than 500% from May 2011. Open interest in ICE Brent Crude options is 952,239 as at May 24, 2012.
The ICE Brent Crude option is an American-style contract, allowing the buyer to exercise an option any time up to and including the expiry day. The contract is based on the ICE Brent Crude futures contract and results in a corresponding futures position at exercise.
Growth in trading volume for ICE Brent Crude options has been spurred by consolidation of Brent as the world's crude oil benchmark and rising demand for risk management in regulated energy futures markets, as well as the enhanced options trading capabilities offered by WebICE, ICE's web based front-end platform.
Because it is seaborne, Brent crude has become the primary reference for pricing some 65% of the world's crude oil from the North Sea to the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Since its introduction in 1988, the Brent futures contract has evolved to reflect changing market fundamentals in the North Sea and the requirements of market participants.
In addition to American-style Brent Crude options, ICE also clears European-style Brent Crude cash settled options, which are based on the underlying Brent Bullet, and Brent Crude Average Price Options, which reference the underlying Brent 1st Line Swap.
IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE) is a leading operator of regulated futures exchanges and over-the-counter markets for agricultural, credit, currency, emissions, energy and equity index contracts. ICE Futures Europe hosts trade in half of the world's crude and refined oil futures. ICE Futures U.S. and ICE Futures Canada list agricultural, currencies and Russell Index markets. ICE is also a leading operator of central clearing services for the futures and over-the-counter markets, with five regulated clearing houses across North America and Europe. ICE serves customers in more than 70 countries. www.theice.com
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Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 - Statements in this press release regarding IntercontinentalExchange's business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of additional risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see ICE's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, including, but not limited to, the risk factors in ICE's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, as filed with the SEC on February 8, 2012.