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As we detailed previously, China’s yuan-denominated crude oil futures launched overnight in Shanghai with 62,500 contracts traded in aggregate, meaning over 62 million barrels of oil changed hands for a notional volume around 27 billion yuan (over $4 billion).
As OilPrice.com's Tsvetana Paraskova notes, Glencore, Trafigura, and Freepoint Commodities were among the first to buy the new contract, Reuters reports.
Minutes - Launch - Price - Yuan - Price
Within minutes of the launch, the price had gone up to almost US$70.85 (447 yuan) from a starting price of US$69.94 (440.4 yuan) per barrel. The overall price jump for the short trading session came in at 3.92 percent.
Many awaited the launch eagerly, seeking to tap China’s bustling commodity markets, although doubts remain whether the Shanghai futures contract will be able to become another international oil benchmark. These doubts center on the fact that China is not a market economy, and the government is quick to interfere in the workings of the local commodity markets on any suspicion of a bubble coming.
Oil - Authorities - Contract - Set - Band
To prevent such a bubble in oil, the authorities made sure the contract will trade within a set band of 5 percent on either side, with 10 percent on either side for the first trading day. Margin has been set at 7 percent. Storage costs for the crude are higher than the international average in hopes of discouraging speculators.
As a result of these tight reins on the new market segment, some analysts believe international investors would be discouraged to tap the Shanghai oil futures. If the first day of trading is any indication, however, this is not the case, at least not for large commodity trading firms.
Haul - Participation - Glencore - Trafigura - Investors
While it remains to be seen whether they’re in it for the long haul, the participation of Glencore, Trafigura and other foreign investors in the contract’s debut is a boon.
On the other hand, China is...
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