2019 Options Review

Reviews by Asset Class

Interest Rates | Equity Index | Energy | Agricultural | FX | Metals

 

Liquidity begets liquidity. An adage that has proved true in the case of options on futures at CME Group. Ongoing enhancements to technology and electronic access through CME Globex have improved liquidity across time zones, drawing new institutional traders into the market and creating a virtuous circle that continues to drive greater liquidity and record participation.

Plus, with benchmark options across six asset classes, CME Group offers the most diverse options marketplace on the planet. Despite subdued volatility in 4 out of 6 asset classes, CME Group options registered a seventh consecutive record year with over 1 billion options contracts traded in 2019.

2019 records

  • Record volume: 1 billion contracts traded (ADV of 4M contracts/day)
    • Record Interest Rate options ADV: 2.76M contracts/day
    • Record Metals options ADV: 78.5 thousand contracts/day
  • Record open interest: 98M contracts on June 13, 2019
  • Record volume during overnight hours

2019 by asset class

Asset class 2019 ADV % YoY % Globex Year-end OI OI % YoY
Total options 4,037,604 2% 64% 63,446,978 1%
Interest Rates 2,763,449 15% 54% 50,241,807 5%
Equity Index 643,968 -22% 95% 3,468,387 -11%
Energy 242,980 -24% 67% 5,155,885 -22%
Agricultural 257,524 -2% 85% 2,581,829 3%
Metals 78,518 36% 80% 1,455,101 2%
FX 51,165 -31% 98% 543,969 -15%

2019 top option products

Product Product group Symbol ADV % YoY Globex % Open interest
Eurodollars Interest Rates GE 1,685,289 19% 37% 44,504,277
10-Year Note Interest Rates OZN 679,032 2% 80% 3,117,032
E-mini S&P 500 Equity Index ES 599,185 -21% 100% 3,193,167
5-Year Note Interest Rates OZF 226,370 37% 76% 1,487,376
T-Bond Interest Rates OZB 147,255 5% 87% 835,105
WTI Crude Oil Energy LO 144,698 -27% 76% 2,703,406
Corn Agriculture OZC 124,944 23% 84% 911,596
Natural Gas Energy LN 89,620 -14% 56% 2,288,143
Gold Metals OG 66,326 36% 79% 1,286,895
Soybeans Agriculture OZS 53,714 -29% 88% 449,183
Standard S&P 500 Equity Index SP 32,627 -33% 0% 203,973
Chicago SRW Wheat Agriculture OZW 29,229 -22% 85% 334,307
2-Year Note Interest Rates OZT 23,991 4% 70% 254,609
EUR/USD FX EUU 23,834 -31% 99% 195,245
Lean Hogs Agriculture HE 16,628 51% 92% 327,050
JPY/USD FX JPU 9,626 -23% 98% 100,664
Live Cattle Agriculture LE 9,580 -9% 88% 156,673
E-mini NASDAQ-100 Equity Index NQ 9,504 -17% 100% 48,083
Silver Metals SO 9,112 22% 90% 133,133
GBP/USD FX GPU 8,007 -38% 95% 108,749
Soybean Meal Agriculture OZM 7,890 -38% 80% 88,365
Soybean Oil Agriculture OZL 6,349 12% 82% 94,942
Brent Crude Oil Energy BZO 5,960 -48% 47% 107,976
CAD/USD FX CAU 4,706 -37% 99% 63,088
AUD/USD FX ADU 4,673 -25% 100% 65,257
KC HRW Wheat Agriculture OKE 4,454 11% 77% 63,895
Copper Metals HX 2,812 101% 73% 26,533
Ultra T-Bond Interest Rates OUB 1,060 121% 6% 29,241
E-mini Russell 2000 Equity Index RTO 2,439 -1% 100% 22,047

New tools in 2019

  • QuikVol® tool: Chart and analyze historical volatility data including, implied and actual volatility, skew, constant maturity, and implied volatility cones
  • Cross-Margin tool: View margin offsets for all products within a single matrix, making it easier than ever to maximize your capital

Most popular tools in 2019

  • Block Trade Alerts: Get email alerts when privately negotiated block trades are submitted in the markets you care about
  • Options Calculator: Generate fair value prices and Greeks for any of CME Group’s options on futures contracts or price up a generic option with our universal calculator.
  • This Week in Options: Track intraday and weekly rolling contract statistics (such as volatility, risk reversal prices, open interest, put/call ratios, and more), and compare them to the prior week.
  • Open Interest Heatmap: See instantly which option calls and puts have the most trading, by strike and expiration, and compare vs. the last day/week/month, to help you plan.
  • Vol2Vol™ Expected Range: See how many standard deviations a strike is from the at-the-money (ATM) futures price. Chart open interest and volume to see where trading is focused and to gauge market sentiment on price.

View all options tools

Interest Rate Options

In a year marked by true rate uncertainty and three Fed rate cuts, the near 24-hour liquidity of Eurodollar and Treasury options shined, leading to a third consecutive record year for Interest Rate options.

  • Rates options averaged a record 2.76M contracts/day, with outsized growth in traded volumes during non-US hours
    • 12-month rolling ADV during the Singapore hours of 8am-8pm SGT was 429K contracts, +47% vs. 2018
    • 12-month rolling ADV during the London hours of 7am-5pm GMT was 1.4M contracts, +16% vs. 2018
  • Eurodollar options averaged a record 1.68M contracts/day, +19% YoY, with growth across all three venues (Elec, Pit, Block)
  • Eurodollar options hit single-day volume (7M contracts) and open interest (71M) records in June
  • Treasury options averaged a record 1.1M contracts/day, +8% YoY, with outsized growth in 5-Yr Note options which surged 37%
  • Weekly Treasury options averaged a record 237K contracts/day, with both Friday and Wednesday expirations reaching new annual highs
  Symbol 2019 ADV % YoY % Globex Year-End OI OI % Puts
Eurodollar options   1,685,289 19% 37% 44,504,277 44%
Eurodollars (Quarterly/Serial) GE 1,106,209 61% 35% 36,266,803 45%
1-Year Mid-Curve GE0 374,120 -6% 40% 5,177,660 31%
2-Year Mid-Curve GE2 141,166 -38% 40% 2,035,753 58%
3-Year Mid-Curve GE3 60,708 -33% 45% 977,933 46%
4-Year Mid-Curve GE4 2,092 -98% 28% 44,628 27%
10-Year Note   679,032 2% 80% 3,117,032 41%
Quarterly/Serial OZN 517,707 -2% 79% 2,888,640 40%
Friday Weekly ZN1-5 140,064 17% 82% 228,134 56%
Wednesday Weekly WY1-5 21,262 5% 90% 258 61%
5-Year Note   226,370 37% 76% 1,487,376 64%
Quarterly/Serial OZF 183,300 30% 74% 1,439,515 65%
Friday Weekly ZF1-5 36,332 77% 83% 47,821 50%
Wednesday Weekly WF1-5 6,739 72% 88% 40 0%
T-Bond   147,255 5% 87% 835,105 62%
Quarterly/Serial OZB 114,769 2% 85% 776,312 62%
Friday Weekly ZB1-5 28,228 19% 92% 58,790 62%
Wednesday Weekly WB1-5 4,258 -4% 94% 3 67%
2-Year Note   23,991 4% 70% 254,609 76%
Quarterly/Serial OZT 23,849 5% 70% 254,609 76%
Friday Weekly ZT1-5 142 -61% 30% 0 N/A
Ultra T-Bond OUB 1,060 121% 6% 29,241 98%
Ultra 10-Year Note OTN 137 26966% 15% 7,517 4%
Fed Funds OZQ 314 310% 28% 6,650 14%

Equity Index Options

Despite subdued volatility and tough YoY comparisons coming off a record 2018, Equity Index options turned in their third highest full-year ADV ever.

  • 15 equity options compression runs completed in 2019 which bring capital relief to our customers and increased liquidity to the marketplace
  • Record 81K ADV during ETH in 2019, surpassing the previous record by 10%
  • Extended the listing cycle in the Monday and Wednesday S&P 500 options from 2 to 4 weeks as short term trading has become more popular
  • Monday and Wednesday weekly options accounted for 18% of total S&P 500 options (standard and E-mini) volume in 2019
  Symbol 2019 ADV % YoY Year-End OI OI % Puts
E-mini S&P 500 options   599,185 -21% 3,193,167 70%
Quarterlies ES 156,588 -15% 1,255,496 72%
Monday Weekly E1A-E5A 48,617 0% 82,184 83%
Wednesday Weekly E1C-E5C 57,967 -1% 77,435 69%
Friday Weekly EW1-EW4 245,792 -29% 1,216,676 70%
End-of-Month EW 90,220 -27% 561,376 64%
S&P 500 options   32,627 -33% 203,973 79%
Quarterlies SP 3,652 -45% 39,844 78%
Monday Weekly S1A-S5A 4,283 -10% 17,700 98%
Wednesday Weekly S1C-S5C 3,505 -20% 500 20%
Friday Weekly EV1-EV4 15,659 -35% 125,554 76%
End-of-Month EV 5,527 -36% 20,375 83%
E-mini NASDAQ-100 options   9,504 -17% 48,083 61%
Quarterlies NQ 2,864 -26% 13,122 66%
Weekly QN1-QN4 5,457 -16% 31,356 60%
End-of-Month QNE 1,183 9% 3,605 56%
E-mini Russell 2000 options   2,439 -1% 22,047 59%
Quarterlies RTO 774 27% 5,261 76%
Weekly R1E-R4E 1,269 -18% 14,485 55%
End-of-Month RTM 395 29% 2,301 49%
E-mini Dow ($5) options YM 214 -57% 1,110 43%

Energy Options

Despite a relatively low volatility environment for much of 2019, Energy options maintained healthy volumes, registering record growth during non-US hours. Natural gas prices remained under pressure as existing stockpiles of were further bolstered by 2019’s record production.

  • A record 52% of Energy options traded on CME Globex resulted from Request-for-Quote (RFQ) in 2019
  • WTI Crude Oil options (LO) saw a record 16.3% of volume traded during Non-US hours
  • WTI weekly options (LO1-5) liquidity has deepened significantly of late with new participants joining the market. December saw record ADV, a trend that has continued into January
  • Natural Gas calendar spread options saw record volume in 2019, driven by record Q4 volume of over 11K contracts/day
  Symbol Settlement 2019 ADV % YoY % Globex Year-end OI OI % puts
Crude Oil options     150,662 -28% 75% 2,811,382 50%
WTI Crude Oil LO Physical 124,012 -30% 85% 1,725,320 46%
WTI 1 Month CSO WA Physical 9,765 2% 4% 310,050 58%
Brent Futures-Style BZO Financial 4,320 -45% 65% 83,260 50%
WTI Weeklies LO1-5 Physical 3,139 -2% 99% 11,675 62%
WTI Average Price AAO Financial 2,538 20% 0% 391,793 57%
WTI 1 Month CSO 7A Financial 2,366 -33% 1% 96,500 79%
WTI-Brent Spread BV Financial 2,319 -32% 7% 115,875 41%
Natural Gas options     89,747 -14% 56% 2,294,139 41%
Natural Gas European LN Financial 76,319 -16% 58% 1,793,209 39%
Natural Gas American ON Physical 6,275 -34% 98% 115,620 35%
Natural Gas 1 Month CSO G4 Financial 4,755 110% 4% 271,559 55%
Natural Gas 3 Month CSO   Financial 1,000 469% 0% 23,250 66%
Natural Gas 6 Month CSO   Financial 540 32% 0% 60,000 53%
Refined Product options     2,011 -13% 18% 37,285 21%
NY Harbor ULSD OH Physical 1,256 -18% 17% 21,848 18%
RBOB Gasoline OB Physical 609 6% 25% 6,057 31%
Ethanol options CVR Financial 483 73% 0% 9,460 41%

Agricultural Options

With 258K contracts traded per day in 2019, Ag options volume fell just shy (-2%) of 2018 records.

  • Lean Hog option volume spiked 51% YoY to a record 16.6K contracts per day, largely driven by the spread of African Swine Fever across Asia.  44% of Lean Hogs volume on Globex was traded as a spread in 2019, up from 33% in 2018.
  • All time ADV record for Corn (115K) and Weekly (7K) options in 2019.  The number of unique account numbers trading corn weeklies grew 84% to over 3K in 2019
  • Non-US volume accounted for more than 10% of Grain & Oilseed options activity in 2019, up from 7.6% in 2018
  • Ongoing trade war concerns weighed heavily on Soybean options trading
  Symbol 2019 ADV % YoY % Globex Year-end OI OI % puts
Corn OZC 115,561 21% 85% 852,459 39%
Soybean OZS 51,568 -29% 88% 432,606 40%
Chicago SRW Wheat OZW 28,565 -23% 85% 320,510 44%
Lean Hogs HE 16,628 51% 92% 327,050 51%
Live Cattle LE 9,577 -9% 88% 156,613 53%
Soybean Meal OZM 7,865 -37% 80% 88,165 40%
Soybean Oil OZL 6,349 12% 82% 94,942 39%
Weekly Corn ZC1-5 5,209 97% 78% 6,670 36%
Short-Dated New Crop Multi 4,467 0% 79% 31,571 48%
KC HRW Wheat OKE 4,451 14% 77% 63,795 45%
Class III Milk DC 1,808 6% 95% 64,090 53%
Feeder Cattle GF 1,357 1% 94% 22,717 53%
Weekly Soybeans ZS1-5 1,088 -10% 86% 1,121 59%
Grain Calendar Spread options Multi 794 9% 10% 37,281 76%
Weekly SRW Wheat ZW1-5 582 90% 95% 549 32%

FX Options

Record low volatility weighed heavily on G7 options volumes in 2019.

  • CHF/USD ADV +54% YoY
  • NZD/USD volumes starting to build on improved liquidity
  Symbol 2019 ADV % YoY % Globex Year-end OI OI % puts
EUR/USD EUU 23,834 -31% 99% 195,245 44%
JPY/USD JPU 9,626 -23% 98% 100,664 42%
GBP/USD GPU 8,007 -38% 95% 108,749 50%
CAD/USD CAU 4,706 -37% 99% 63,088 55%
AUD/USD ADU 4,673 -25% 100% 65,257 51%
CHF/USD CHU 187 54% 97% 8,465 77%
NZD/USD 6N 43 938% 100% 1,434 34%
MXN/USD 6M 82 -15% 93% 1,067 49%

Metals Options

Ongoing geopolitical and economic growth uncertainty coupled with an increasingly accommodative fed drove record trading and elevated open interest across Metals options in 2019.

  • Gold options averaged a record 59.7K contracts/day, +28% YoY
  • A record 19% of Gold options were traded during non-US hours
  • Weekly Gold options (OG1-5) surged 214% to a record 6.6K contracts per day. Weeklies have registered 47 consecutive month of YoY growth
  • Despite subdued volatility, Copper options volumes doubled in 2019 to a record 2.7K contracts/day, reaching multiple open interest records along the way
  Symbol 2019 ADV % YoY % Globex Year-end OI OI % puts
Gold OG 59,698 28% 77% 1,259,573 28%
Silver SO 8,763 20% 90% 130,389 41%
Gold Weeklies OG1-5 6,628 214% 94% 27,322 42%
Copper HX 2,797 100% 73% 26,511 38%
Silver Weeklies SO1-5 349 223% 95% 2,744 48%
Platinum PO 164 -9% 39% 5,894 34%
Palladium PAO 57 -52% 49% 1,691 78%

Open Interest as of 12/31/19, unless otherwise specified
YoY – Compares current period 2019 to same period 2018
MoM – Compares current month 2019 to previous month 2019

Futures and options trading is not suitable for all investors, and involves the risk of loss. Futures are a leveraged investment, and because only a percentage of a contract’s value is required to trade, it is possible to lose more than the amount of money deposited for a futures position. Therefore, traders should only use funds that they can afford to lose without affecting their lifestyles. And only a portion of those funds should be devoted to any one trade because they cannot expect to profit on every trade. All references to options refer to options on futures.

CME Group is a trademark of CME Group Inc. The Globe logo, CME, E-mini and Globex are trademarks of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. CBOT is a trademark of the Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, Inc. NYMEX and ClearPort are trademarks of New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. COMEX is a trademark of Commodity Exchange, Inc. S&P® 500 and S&P MidCap 400™ are trademarks of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., and have been licensed for use by Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. NASDAQ-100 is a trademark of The Nasdaq Stock Market, used under license. Dow Jones is a trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and used here under license. Russell 2000® is a trademark and service mark of the Frank Russell Company, used under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

The information within this document has been compiled by CME Group for general purposes only and has not taken into account the specific situations of any recipients of the information. CME Group assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. The information in this brochure should not be considered investment advice. All matters pertaining to rules and specifications herein are made subject to and are superseded by official CME, CBOT and NYMEX rules. Current CME/CBOT/NYMEX rules should be consulted in all cases before taking any action.

Copyright © 2020 CME Group Inc. All rights reserved

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