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Robert Sales
Robert Sales
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CME Eyes Release of Wireless Cubs, Rolls Out Galax-C Handheld

Chicago Mercantile Exchange pushes further into the realm of electronic trading.

CONCURRENT WITH ITS recent launch of side-by-side trading for its flagship Eurodollar contract, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is pushing further and further into the realm of electronic trading. Merc officials divulged plans to launch a wireless version of Cubs2, the exchange’s electronic broker workstation platform, next year. Moreover, on the same day it went

live with day-time electronic trading of the Eurodollar, the exchange rolled out Globex Advanced Link Accessing Exchange Contracts (Galax)-C–an internally developed handheld device targeted at exchange locals.

The roll out of Galax-C for independent Eurodollar traders comes in the wake of a limited installation of the palm-sized handhelds in the exchange’s British pound futures pit in April. CME senior vice president Dave Dugan says that in the British pound pit, locals–who generate their own orders and trade on their own behalf–have used Galax-C to trade in the cash foreign exchange markets. In the Eurodollar’s pit, on the other hand, locals are expected to use Galax-C to electronically send orders directly to Globex2, the CME’s automated trading system.

Cubs2, in contrast to Galax-C, is targeted at pit brokers who fill orders emanating from a variety of sources –including future commission merchants’ (FCMs) order desks, introducing brokers and retail investors. Currently, Cubs2–an electronic broker deck management system–consists of a laptop PC sitting on a stand in a trading pit. However, the CME plans to go live with a wireless version of Cubs2 sometime next year, after it completes its Year 2000-induced technology freeze, says Dugan.

Besides its Y2k concerns, the CME decided to hold off on the release of a wireless Cubs2 because there has not been great demand for the product. In fact, Dugan says that the current incarnation of Cubs2 is in demand on all corners of the CME’s floor. "To be honest, all of the demands for our brokers right now has been on the ... wired stands side. I think some of the reason for that is because the brokers are typically operating in one pit, and filling paper in that pit," he says. The exchange’s currency pits, Dugan adds, are next in line to receive the wired version of Cubs2.

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