Bloomberg News

CME Cuts Margin Requirements for Nymex Crude, Heating Oil

December 12, 2011

(Updates with prices and ICE comment beginning in fourth paragraph.)

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The New York Mercantile Exchange cut the margin requirement on its crude and heating oil futures effective at the close of business Dec. 12, said CME Group Inc., the exchange’s parent company.

The margin requirement for Nymex light sweet crude will be $7,560 per contract, 6.7 percent lower than the current level, the exchange said in a notice today. Nymex last reduced the margin to $8,100 from $8,437.50 in May.

“We adjust margins up or down based on volatility, not on price,” said Chris Grams, a CME spokesman based in Chicago.

Oil for January delivery tumbled $2.15, or 2.1 percent, to $98.34 a barrel, the lowest settlement since Nov. 28 on the Nymex. It was the biggest decline in three weeks.

Heating oil margins will decrease to $7,155 from $7,830. Heating oil for January delivery dropped 5.26 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $2.9298 a gallon on the exchange.

CME left unchanged the requirements for gasoline and natural gas contracts.

The IntercontinentalExchange Inc., where most Brent oil trades, kept its margins unchanged today, said Lee Underwood, a spokesman in Atlanta.

CME, which also has a Brent contract, cut its requirement for that oil to $8,100 from $9,113, also effective Dec. 12.

--Editors: Richard Stubbe, Alexander Kwiatkowski

To contact the reporter on this story: Margot Habiby in Dallas at mhabiby@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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