SOURCE: The Options Industry Council

April 02, 2007 12:40 ET

The Options Industry Council Announces Record Month in March With More Than 200 Million Contracts Traded

Options Trading Increased 39% Over March 2006

CHICAGO, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 2, 2007 -- The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that March 2007 set a new monthly volume record with 228,595,638 total options contracts traded, the first time monthly trading volume has ever exceeded 200 million contacts. This represents a 39.2 percent increase over March 2006 and a 14.5 percent increase over the previous monthly volume record of 199,714,215 contracts, set in May 2006.

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) reported daily volume in March averaged 10,390,711 contracts, a remarkable 45.6 percent increase over the daily volume average of March 2006, and the first time average daily volume for a single month exceeded 10 million contracts. Year-to-date, daily volume is averaging 9,990,537 contracts, up 27.6 percent over the same period in 2006.

Equity options volume for the month was also record-setting, reaching 202,416,837 contracts, 34.4 percent higher than March 2006 and 13.1 percent higher than the previous record set in May 2006. Year-to-date equity options volume is 550,997,957 contracts, up 23.4 percent over the same point last year. Daily equity options volume averaged 9,200,765 contracts per day in March, an increase of 40.5 percent over the same month last year.

Total options volume for 2007 is currently 609,422,787 contracts, an increase of 25.6 percent over the same period last year, a record volume year that surpassed 2 billion contracts traded.

March Highlights:

Two days joined the list of top 10 highest total options volume days:

--  Fourth-highest trading day on March 14 with 14,717,494 contracts
    traded
--  Seventh-highest trading day on March 13 with 13,396,228 contracts
    traded
    

Two days joined the list of top 10 highest equity options volume days:

--  Sixth-highest trading day on March 14 with 12,094,494 contracts traded
--  Ninth-highest trading day on March 13 with 11,851,185 contracts traded
    

About OIC

OIC is a non-profit association funded by the American Stock Exchange, Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, NYSE Arca, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's resources include: The Options Industry Services call center at 1-888-OPTIONS, educational Web sites at www.888options.com and www.OICoptions.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional DVDs and educational literature and software.

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