Brazilian real futures contract set a record for volume in the Merc's emerging-markets currencies. An estimated 2,223 real futures contracts were traded during the day, spanning several settlement dates, according to a spokeswoman with the exchange. Of this volume, more than 1,000 contracts changed hands in the first 25 minutes alone. By contrast, first-day volume in the exchange's only other existing emerging-markets futures contract, the Mexican peso, amounted to 832 contracts. As of Nov. 8, the exchange reported more than 14,000 open peso futures contracts. The Brazilian contract trades 100,000 reals, the equivalent of about $104,000, and has a cash settlement similar to the exchange's Eurodollar contracts. Some other currencies traded at the Mercantile Exchange allow for final settlement through physical delivery of the currency. Emerging markets are the "next frontier in investment," saidJack Sandner, chairman of the Mercantile Exchange. "The Merc, in launching the Brazilian real contract in conjunction with its new Growth and Emerging Markets division, will be the premier exchange for managing the risk of these burgeoning investments." Exchange members voted on Nov. 2 to create the Growth and Emerging Markets division for emerging-market currencies, interest rates, and stock indexes. It will begin operations on Dec. 1.
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