U.S. Options Trading Falls 4.7% in April From Year Ago

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. options volume dropped 4.7 percent in April from the same month in 2011 as 319.6 million contracts traded, the Options Industry Council said today.

About 1.38 billion contracts traded in the first four months of the year, Chicago-based OIC said, a 7 percent decline from the same period in 2011. Average daily volume for the month was 16 million, 4.7 percent lower than the previous April.

Options based on stocks and exchange-traded funds slid 5.9 percent in April from a year earlier, to 295.4 million contracts. Equity options year-to-date volume was 1.28 billion contracts, down 7.7 percent from last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nikolaj Gammeltoft in New York at ngammeltoft@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at nbaker7@bloomberg.net