E-micros - the little siblings of e-mini futures

Did you know that futures have something in common with (artificial) Earth satellites? If you are not a scientist who trades futures for a living you probably did not. We can fix it, though.

It turns out that satellites, depending on their mass (the so-called wet mass that includes fuel) fall into different categories that are labelled as "mini," "micro," "nano" and "pico," and hence we talk about minisatellites or picosatellities. Incidentally, commas or periods always go inside quotation marks, as in: She said, "He said, 'Hurry up.'" Again, not necessarily a very common knowledge. But I digress ...

Minisatellites have a wet mass between 100 and 500 kg (220 and 1,100 pounds), while picosatellites have a wet mass between 0.1 and 1 kg (0.22 and 2.2 pounds). There are even lighter satellites than picosatellites, but they are not called femtosatelllites, as one would expect it if this pattern were to continue, but molecularsatellites or "molesats."

Something similar is true about futures as well. We have "regular" futures contracts, but we also have "mini" contracts, and now for some relatively short time we even have had "micro" futures, a totally new trading instrument.

One of such e-micro contracts is the contract of EUR/USD futures. Its tick value is 5 times smaller than the tick's value of the corresponding e-mini contract, and it is only $1.25. This e-micro ticker symbol is M6E. The contract rolls over every 3 months, starting in March. The USD/JPY futures contract also have its emini and e-micro counterparts.

There is also an e-micro for the Gold futures and for Nifty 50, an index of Indian stocks. All these e-micro futures contracts trade electronically on Globex, the electronic trading platform of Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Will we ever get e-pico futures? Probably not. In fact, even e-nanos are very unlikely.