July 18, 2011 / 7:49 AM / 9 years ago

Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange to launch silver futures on July 22

SINGAPORE, July 18 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) said on Monday it will start trading a dollar-denominated silver futures contract on July 22, hoping to tap into the growing demand for the metal in China.

The silver contract will trade in lots of 1,000 troy ounces and be delivered in Hong Kong, the exchange said in a statement.

Silver demand rose 67 percent in China and 17 percent globally between 2008 and 2010, the exchange said, citing market data it has compiled.

“The new contract will enable buyers and sellers in China to trade effectively with their counterparts across the world, while at the same time, allowing investors to gain exposure to silver price movements and broaden their investment portfolio,” said HKMEx president Albert Helmig in the statement.

The exchange rolled out a dollar-denominated gold futures contract in May.

The exchange also plans to launch yuan-priced gold and silver futures to capitalise on growing investor demand for China’s strengthening currency, with further ambition for products in base metals, energy and agriculture, Helmig told Reuters earlier this month.

Spot silver traded at $39.89 an ounce by 0707 GMT, down 19 percent from a record of $49.51 hit on April 28. The metal, notorious for price volatility, surged 60 percent earlier this year to the peak before dropping 33 percent over six sessions in early May.

Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Ed Lane

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