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CBOT Adding Gold Options

Volume for precious metals contracts has been brisk.


Chicago Board of Trade


said Friday it will launch new gold options contracts to be traded exclusively on the exchange's electronic platform.

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The contracts will feature 100 ounce, or full-sized, gold options, and will trade under the ticker OZGC for calls and OZGP for puts.

"With the outstanding growth and liquidity in the CBOT Gold complex, the timing was right to introduce Gold options," said Robert Ray, CBOT senior vice president of business development.

Volume for the CBOT's precious metals futures has been brisk, running at about twice the daily rate in the first two months of 2006 than in the last two months of 2005. It's up more than fivefold from the same period last year. Such contracts include full- and mini-sized gold futures and full- and mini-sized silver futures.

Craig Grabiner, a spokesman for the CBOT, said that the exchange is looking into offering other metals options contracts, including silver contracts.

In February, the CBOT's gold futures accounted for 23% of all contracts traded in North America. Over the past year, gold prices have increased over 32%, touching $570 an ounce in trading Friday.