Options Contrary Exercise Instructions

A contrary instruction must be submitted by the clearing firm when a customer submits a request to exercise an "out-of-the-money" option or to abandon an "in-the-money" option. Contrary instructions are not allowed in some products on the day trading in those products terminates. Abandoned “in-the-money” options and unexercised “out-of-the-money” options will expire (i.e. do not result in a futures position).

Expiring Options Assignment Process

All options that are "in-the-money" will be automatically exercised at expiration, and all options that are “out-of-the-money” will be abandoned. There are two types of behavior for how Puts and Calls are handled for those option strikes that expire exactly "at-the-money." 

  • Abandon Calls and Puts – “At-the-money” options are considered “out-of-the-money” and both Calls and Puts will be abandoned.  
  • Exercise Calls and Abandon Puts – For "at-the-money" options, all Call options will be treated as '"in-the-money" and will be exercised, while all Put options will be treated as "out-of-the-money" and will be abandoned.  

Beginning in September 2019, we will begin to make procedural changes to the expiring option assignment process. The intent of these changes is to provide assignment results as early as possible for expiring options. Complete details may be viewed HERE.

Please refer to the link below for questions about the characteristics of a specific Option contract:
Download List of Option Products and Unique Characteristics

The NYMEX/COMEX Strike Price Listing Procedures and Exercise Procedures Table may be viewed HERE.

Clearing Instruction Deadlines and Option Exception Reports:

Submission Deadline

Product Type / Summary Report*

Assignment Times

E&A Report Times

9:30 a.m. ET

NYMEX Early Coal Option Contracts (F2C, F2Q, F4C, F4Q CQA, RQA, MTC, MFY, CLA, RLA)

8:45am CT / 9:45am ET

9:15am CT / 10:45am ET

5:30pm London Time

Dutch & UK Nat Gas

6:15pm London Time / 1:15pm ET

6:30pm London Time / 1:30pm ET

3:30 p.m. ET

NYMEX Brent Crude Oil Futures Style Margin Option Contracts (BZO) UPDATE: No Contrary Instructions Commencing with March 2020 - SER-8430

6:15pm CT / 7:15pm ET

6:45pm CT / 7:45pm ET

4:30 p.m. ET

NYMEX and COMEX Option Contracts

6:15pm CT / 7:15pm ET

6:45pm CT / 7:45pm ET

5:00 p.m. CT

CBOT Flex Option Contracts

7:30pm CT / 8:30pm ET

8:00pm CT / 9:00pm ET

6:00 p.m. ET

NYMEX Late Coal Option Contracts

6:15pm CT / 7:15pm ET

6:45pm CT / 7:45pm ET

6:00 p.m. CT

CBOT Option Contracts

7:30pm CT / 8:30pm ET

8:00pm CT / 9:00pm ET

7:00 p.m. CT

CME Option Contracts

7:30pm CT / 8:30pm ET

8:00pm CT / 9:00pm ET

*The summary reports are produced after the various exercise submission deadlines and reflect submitted instructions from clearing firms. E&A Report times are approximate and may differ.

Advisory Notices

In response to firm feedback, CME Clearing will make the following changes to the Exercise and Assignment (E/A) cycle and processing to deliver results earlier:

Beginning September 25th, 2019

  • 5:30 CT / 6:30 ET: Run an E/A cycle for all expiring CME FX Options - Advisory

October, date TBD

  • 3:30 CT / 4:30 ET: Run an E/A cycle for all expiring NYMEX/COMEX options, immediately after the contrary instruction deadline.

November, date TBD

  • 5:30 CT / 6:30 ET: Run an E/A cycle for all expiring CME, CBT, CBT Flex options, Late Coal and Power options, immediately after the newly combined contrary instruction deadline.

On options expiration date, firms need to finalize their allocations/claims processing and position finalization by the options contrary instructions deadline

Proposed Option Exercise & Assignement Schedule – All Exchanges*

 

Contrary Instructions

Exercise and Assignment

E&A Reports

Exchange

Current Time

Proposed Time

Current Time

Proposed Time

Current Time

Proposed Time

CBT Flex

5:00PM

5:30PM

7:30PM

5:30PM

8:00PM

6:00PM

CBT

6:00PM

5:30PM

7:30PM

5:30PM

8:00PM

6:00PM

CME

7:00PM

5:30PM

7:30PM

5:30PM

8:00PM

6:00PM

NYMEX-Early Coal

8:30AM

Same

8:45am

Same

9:15AM

Same

UK/Dutch Nat Gas Option

12:00PM

11.30AM

12:15PM

Same

12:45PM

Same

NYMEX - BZO

2:30PM

Same

6:15PM

3:30PM

6:45PM

4:00PM

NYMEX/COMEX/DME – All Other Products

3:30PM

Same

6:15PM

3:30PM

6:45PM

4:00PM

NYMEX – Late Coal and Power

5:00PM

5:30PM

6:15PM

5:30PM

6:45PM

6:00PM

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