Trading volumes of derivatives based on the Russell indexes rose to new highs in August, according to Russell Investment Group. Monthly trading volume records were set for iShares Russell 2000 options at 2.7 million, from 2.2 million in July; iShares Russell 2000 Value options at 76,436, more than double the 36,446 in July; for E-mini Russell 2000 index options on futures at more than 20,000, up from 12,780 in July; and Russell 2000 index options contracts at 167,294.
The July trading volumes were highs for the iShares Russell 2000 options, iShares Russell 2000 Value options and E-mini Russell 2000 index options. The April trading volume of 137,325 was the previous high for Russell 2000 index options contracts.
"More investors in hedge funds and other alternatives in particular are using Russell-based options in their portfolio strategies," Kelly Haughton, strategic director of Russell indexes, said in a statement.
Russell also announced the debut last month of two exchange-traded funds and options based on them: the iShares Russell Microcap Index ETF and the Rydex Russell Top 50 Index ETF.