The Chicago Mercantile Exchange's ( CME) profit rose 35%, fueled by higher trading of foreign exchange and commodity products.

The futures and commodity exchange beat analysts' earnings expectations by 6 cents a share. In the fourth quarter, the CME made $102.6 million, or $2.91 a share, compared to $76.2 million, or $2.18 a share, a year earlier.

But revenue, which rose 26% from a year earlier, to $281.3 million, fell below analysts' expectations of $286.8 million.

In the quarter, clearing and transaction fees rose 25%, to $219.7 million. The CME said higher clearing fees were a result of a 29% jump in average daily trading volume to 5.3 million contracts. Specifically higher volume in foreign exchange products, interest rate products, CME E-mini products and commodity products fueled the rise.

The CME said electronic trading made up 75% of total trading volume last year.

Revenue from processing services, in which the CME supports the Chicago Board of Trade ( BOT) and the New York Mercantile Exchange ( NMX) among others surged 79% from the year-ago quarter, to $28 million.

Expenses rose 15%, to $123 million.

For the year, the exchange made $407 million, or $11.60 a share, an increase of 33% from 2005.

The exchange's $8 billion deal for the Chicago Board of Trade is expected to close around midyear after receiving shareholder and regulatory approval. The deal will create CME Group, a trading powerhouse for derivatives and future contracts, valued at $25 billion, with an average daily trading volume of about 9 million contracts.

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