China Moves Closer to Introducing Crude Oil Futures, Xinhua Says

China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, is pushing ahead with plans to introduce crude oil futures trading as early as possible, the Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the chairman of the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

The bourse yesterday started the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, a trading platform for energy derivatives in the city’s pilot free-trade zone, Xinhua reported yesterday. This will allow the listing of crude-oil futures, said Yang Maijun, the head of the futures exchange.

The energy exchange is part of the measures being introduced at the trade zone, a testing ground for free-market policies that Premier Li Keqiang has signaled he may later implement more broadly in the world’s second-largest economy. Energy futures would lure foreign investors to trade onshore and open the domestic futures market further, according to a China Securities Regulatory Commission statement on Sept. 29.

Preparations to list crude oil futures will be completed by the end of the year, Radio Television Hong Kong reported on Nov. 21, citing Yang at a conference.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange spent 5 billion yuan ($821 million) to set up the exchange, which will be able to operate regulated derivative markets for crude oil, natural gas and other petrochemicals, Xinhua reported. It will provide clearing, delivery, information distribution and technology services, it said.

— With assistance by Liza Lin

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