By Karen Brettell and Ann Saphir
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO Aug 2 U.S. futures
regulators are looking into a spike in Treasury futures trades
just seconds ahead of a highly anticipated U.S. jobs report,
triggering a brief halt at CME Group Inc on Friday.
CME halted trading in 10-year and 30-year Treasury futures
for five seconds, disrupting one of the world's biggest
marketplaces where investors bet on and hedge against market
"We are aware of it and will be doing a review of the
trades, which is standard operating procedure for something like
this," Commodity Futures Trading Commission commissioner Bart
Chilton said in response to a query from Reuters about CME's
Some 198,000 10-year Treasury futures, with a notional value
of $19.8 billion, traded in the minute before the release,
according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
That's 14 percent of the volume traded in the contract over
the entire prior day's session, CME Group data show. Trading is
often volatile and heavy around U.S. government jobs reports.
Prices shot up just before CME's trading halt, rising 20/32
of a point to 125 29/32 in a period of seven seconds. Other
related markets saw prices jump sharply as well, including
30-year Treasury futures and even contracts tied to German
CME spokesman Michael Shore said that the firm had "stop
logic events" in the 10- and 30-year Treasuries futures
contracts at 8:29:57 a.m. EDT, three seconds before the
employment report was released.
Trading in futures resumed two seconds after the report,
which showed U.S. employers added fewer jobs than expected in
July. Bond prices, including Treasury futures prices, rose,
sending yields down sharply as investors lost confidence the Fed
could soon begin trimming its massive bond-buying stimulus
program. [ID: nL1N0G30CR]
CME's stop-logic programming is an automated system that
shuts off trading for a set period in response to extreme market
A CME spokeswoman had no immediate further information about
the incident or the exchange operator's response.