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The Options Industry Council Announces March Volume Up 32% Over March 2005

Chicago—April 4, 2006

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today March trading volume totaled 164,166,810 contracts, a 32.4 percent increase over the year-ago level of 123,995,185 contracts, which set a record at that time. This number makes March the second best record month for volume, behind January 2006 which traded 178.1 million contracts.

March’s volume helped make the first quarter of 2006 the highest ever with 485,348,099 contracts traded, a 39.6 percent increase over the first quarter of 2005.

Equity options volume for March was 150,623,674, 33.5 percent higher than March 2005. First quarter equity options volume was 446,506,715 contracts, a 40.1 percent increase over the 318,615,449 contracts traded in first quarter 2005.

Additional volume statistics reported by The Options Clearing Corporation include:

  • Average daily equity options volume 6,548,855 (up 27.6 percent from March 2005)
  • Average daily total options volume 7,137,687 (up 26.6 percent from March 2005)
  • Year-to-date daily average for total options is 7,137,687 contracts
  • Year-to-date daily average for equity options is 7,201,721 contracts

March Highlights:

On March 16, equity options volume reached 11,561,303 contracts traded, joining the list of top 10 highest equity options volume days as the second highest trading day on record.

On March 16, total options volume reached 12,481,985 contracts traded, joining the list of top 10 highest total options volume days as the second highest trading day on record.

Open interest was 175,119,740 contracts for the month. Open interest is the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire.

About OIC

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

Press Contacts:

Jim Binder
312-322-9853
jbinder@theocc.com
Erin Green
312-322-6267
egreen@theocc.com
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