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Option Volumes Surge in First Half

Traders Magazine Online News, July 18, 2018

Rob Daly

It has been a vibrant first-half of the year for the options market as cleared trade volumes have seen significant year-to-date growth, according to cleared contract volumes data published by the Options Clearing Corp.

The overall YTD volume for futures and options was up 22.3% compared to the previous year. Only cleared futures contracts witnessed a 19.4% pullback with only 449,071 contracts cleared through the CCP.

For cleared options, equity options saw the sharpest increase in volume to 18,237,569 cleared contracts, or a 24% bump. Exchange-traded fund options came in second and within a hair of equity options' performance with a 23.8% YTD gain with 8,087,021 cleared contracts. Index options showed the smallest amount of growth amongst option classes but still delivered a significant 21.9% increase with 2,325,988 contracts over the same period in 2017.

In a similar vein, OCC's YTD stock-loan activity rose 22% from last year with 1,392,596 new loans transacted with the average daily loan value for June being $180,153,759,568.

The double-digit increase in volume across options and futures helped cap the OCC's new branding initiative, which the clearinghouse announced at the end of June.

The clearinghouse now sports a new gray logo, which replaced the previous navy logo that replaced the CCP's original green color scheme.

"This new brand identity is an exciting change for OCC," said Craig Donohue, OCC Executive Chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement. "It represents our evolution from being not only an important market utility but also becoming an acknowledged industry influencer and thought leader. Over the past 45 years, our talented team of colleagues has built a solid foundation with a strong reputation for delivering sound risk management and capital efficiencies to the markets we serve. This new branding will support our tireless work to clear the path and enable a stable tomorrow for market participants in our role as the foundation for secure markets."

The new visual identity, guiding actions and rally cry, in conjunction with the company's mission, purpose, and values, emphasizes OCC's brand promise to enable a stable tomorrow, according to OCC officials.

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