Electronic Trading Newsflashes: DrKW Taps FFastFill to Run Direct-Market Access to Futures and Options Exchanges, and more
Dresdner Kleinwort Benson (DrKW) signed a new application service provision (ASP) contract with London-based FFastFill to provide a complete managed service to the investment bank's Listed Products Group.
DrKW's Listed Products Group offers the bank's institutional clients a front-to-back service in all exchange-traded derivatives (ETD), encompassing the major financial, commodity and metal exchanges worldwide. FFastFill is running the bank's Web-based trading system GATOR (Global Access to Order Routing), which offers direct market access to over 20 of the world's leading futures and options exchanges.
Under the new contract, which runs until 2012, FFastFill will provide DrKW's Listed Products Group with a managed application service covering trading, pre- and post-trade risk management and global order tracking for futures and options on all the major European and U.S. futures and options exchanges, including Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Eurex, EurexUS, Euronext.Liffe, Euronext Paris, International Petroleum Exchange, Italian Derivatives Market and London Metal Exchange.
CME Upgrades Handhelds to Grow Electronic Options Markets
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launched new software for the CME Galax-C handheld trading devices in a move to boost electronic options markets, the exchange announced on Tuesday. The upgraded options functionality enables trading of options on futures for any options contracts currently listed on CME Globex, the exchange's electronic-trading platform.
Today, there are approximately 400 traders using the CME Galax-C devices on the trading floor averaging 120,000 contracts per day in February 2005, an increase from 31,000 per day in January 2004.
Current futures traders will not be required to change the way they trade with the devices, but they could choose to utilize some of the new functionality. With the new changes to the software, now all options available on CME Globex will be available for trading; users will have two order-entry fields available for use at all times; and users can view the strike price ranges in two separate columns -- one for calls on the left and one for puts on the right. Another new feature is the ability to scroll separately between the call and put strike prices. Users will have the ability to view and trade more than the current limit of 30 contracts. With the upgrade, users may request up to 1,000 futures contracts and toggle between futures and options trading screens with the option to view either one.
In addition to the new software, over the last few months, the CME has launched new options contracts, including equity options on CME E-Mini Russell 2000 futures contracts and new CME Euro FX and Japanese yen options contracts. The new contracts are designed to enhance the liquidity of electronic options markets and provide new options trading opportunities for CME customers, related CEO Craig Donohue in the release.
Tick Data Expands Historical Data Coverage to London Stock Exchange
Tick Data is expanding its historical data offering to include trade and quote data from the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the company announced on Monday.
This agreement with LSE expands Tick Data's equity coverage beyond the current database sourced from the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and the American Stock Exchange.
According to Tick Data, the agreement, which took effect on Feb. 8, 2005, will enable retail and institutional traders, hedge funds and quantitative trading desks to back-test trading strategies and evaluate order execution in European equity markets.
The company further explicated that this is the first in a series of initiatives to globalize Tick Data's Tick Equity Database. The expansion into European data follows the acquisition of Tick Data by Penson Worldwide in January. Penson merged the data vendor with Nexa Technologies, Penson's trading technology subsidiary. Nexa is merging its real-time data feed with Tick Data's historical products through its direct-market-access trading platforms. This way, clients will have access to historical and real-time information for model building, trading and order execution evaluation.
Thomson Provides Access to CSFB's AES Suite of Algorithms via AutEx
In a move to offer algorithmic trading, Thomson Financial is providing access to Credit Suisse First Boston's Advanced Execution Services(AES) via the Thomson AutEx Order Routing global network, the company announced on Monday.
New functionality within AutEx Order Routing supports the custom Financial Information exchange (FIX) tags that are necessary to enter trading parameters. Institutions or buy-side traders are able to take control over the orders by entering trade parameters before the order is sent over the AutEx network to brokers or sell-side traders, stated Thomson in a press release.
As a result of the collaboration between Thomson and CSFB, institutional clients can access the AES suite of quantitative execution algorithms via their own order management system.
"We were fortunate to work on this development project with CSFB and its AES team, the acknowledged leaders in the algorithmic area," stated Robert Moitoso, senior vice president and head of AutEx, Thomson Financial, in the release.
AutEx is an online real-time network and database for block order indications and trade advertisements. AutEx is used by traders at institutional and domestic institutions, broker-dealers, exchanges, electronic communications networks and alternative trading systems -- either connecting directly to AutEx or through service bureaus or order management systems -- to identify market liquidity and place orders.
Schwab Cuts Options Trading Fees
Charles Schwab & Co. lowered its fees for online options trading for domestic retail investors, the brokerage firm announced on Tuesday. As of April 1, investors that place 30 or more trades per quarter or with household assets of more than $1 million, will pay $9.95 per trade plus $0.95 per contract, instead of $1.40 per contract.
In addition to lower commissions, options traders get access to options specialists as swell as trading specialists available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also receive trading tools, such as Option Builder, to build, research and trade multiple-leg options strategies. Another tool at their disposal is Spread Search, which helps traders identify and execute simple to complex option strategies. Schwab also supplies what the company terms "Greeks" -- streaming analytics -- an options pricing tool to help traders evaluate and forecast option behavior and test trade strategies, the company reported in a press release.