Exchanges and brokers have started bracing themselves for
the imminent plunge into penny pricing for US equity options, a
move that was expected to massively increase options messaging
and trading volume.
The move to pennies was scheduled to launch on 29 January
with 13 listings as a six-month pilot programme. While there
remained more questions than answers before the launch, many
believed messaging traffic would soar as would volumes in those
listings. Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA) was
preparing to handle the transition by switching its bandwidth
peak capacity to 360,000 messages per second on 1 January, up
from its previous level of 190,000 messages per second.
Industry executives, who spoke at Futures Industry
Association's annual conference in Chicago on 29 November, said
OPRA's expanded capacity would cover the increased messaging
flow, but some were worried about other points in the order
flow pipeline such as the ability of exchanges to mitigate
traffic, or vendors to handle the sudden crush of messaging
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