Nasdaq OMX Group last month grabbed the largest share of options volume on stocks and ETFs for the first time.
The two exchanges operated by Nasdaq OMX accounted for 27.6% of equity options as new pricing on one of the markets drew almost 7 percentage points of trading volume.
Nasdaq OMX leapt three spots to top NYSE Euronext, the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the International Securities Exchange.
Total options volume, including contracts on index products, last month increased 33.8% from February and 1.4% from March 2009.
“This raises the ante for everybody involved in options at the exchange level,” said Andy Nybo, head of derivatives at financial services consultant Tabb Group. “All of the exchanges are under pressure to evolve and attract order flow.”
March was also the first time an exchange other than CBOE or ISE was the largest single market for equity options.
CBOE’s share of trades in March was 24.5% and ISE’s, 20.6%. CBOE, which has an exclusive license to trade options on the S&P 500 index, is the largest venue for equity and index options combined.