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  A battle between two energy exchanges

  OPEN-OUTCRY trading is supposed to be a quaint, outdated practice, rapidly being replaced by sleeker, cheaper electronic systems. Try telling that to the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the world's largest commodities exchange. On November 1st the NYMEX opened an open-outcry pit in Dublin to handle Brent crude futures, the benchmark contract for pricing two-thirds of the world's oil.

  The NYMEX is trying to snatch liquidity from London's International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), which trades the most Brent contracts; the New York exchange has hitherto concentrated on West Texas Intermediate, an American benchmark grade. The new pit is a response to the IPE's efforts to modernise. On the same day as NYMEX traders started shouting Brent prices in Dublin, the IPE did away with its morning open-outcry session: now such trades must be electronic, or done in the pit after lunch.

  The New York exchange claims that customers, such as hedge funds or energy companies, prefer open-outcry because it allows for more liquidity. Although most other exchanges are heading in the opposite direction, in commodity markets such as the NYMEX, pressure from "locals"--self-employed traders--is helping to prop up open-outcry, although some reckon that customers pay up to five times as much as with electronic systems. Even the IPE has no plans to abolish its floor. Only last month it signed a lease, lasting until 2011, for its trading floor in London.

  Dublin's new pit is "showing promise", says Rob Laughlin, a trader with Man Financial, despite a few technical glitches. On its first day it handled 5,726 lots of Brent (each lot, or contract, is 1,000 barrels), over a third of the volume in the IPE's new morning electronic session. By the year's end, predicts Mr Laughlin, it should be clear whether the venture will be viable. It would stand a better chance if it moved to London. It may yet: it started in Ireland because regulatory approval could be obtained faster there than in Britain.

  Ultimately, having both exchanges offering similar contracts will be unsustainable. Stealing liquidity from an established market leader, as the NYMEX is trying to do, is a hard task. Eurex, Europe's largest futures exchange, set up shop in Chicago this year, intending to grab American Treasury-bond contracts from the Chicago Board of Trade. It has made little headway. And the NYMEX has dabbled in Brent contracts before, without success.

  Given the importance of liquidity in exchanges, why do the IPE and the NYMEX not band together? There have been merger talks before, and something might yet happen. Some say that the freewheeling NYMEX and the more staid IPE could never mix. For now, in any case, the two exchanges will slug it out--across the Irish Sea as well as across the Atlantic.

  注(1):本文选自Economist;11/6/2004, p78-78, 1/2p, 1c;

  注(2):本文习题命题模仿2001年真题text 2第1题(1),text 4第2题(2),text 1第2题(4),2002年真题text 2第2题(3),text 3第4题(5);

  1.The NYMEX and IPE are___________.

  [A] both using open outcry trading as a major trading form

  [B] partners that are reciprocal in their business activities

  [C] rivals that are competing in the oil trading market

  [D] both taking efforts to modernize their trading practice

  2. According to the author, one of the reasons that the NYMEX takes open-outcry trading


  [A] the preference of its customers

  [B] the standard practice of energy exchange

  [C] the long tradition of this trading practice

  [D] the nostalgic feeling it arouses

  3.The word “glitches” (Line 2, Paragraph 4) most probably means_________.

  [A] backwardness

  [B] disappointments

  [C] engineers

  [D] problems

  4.From Paragraph 4 we can infer that_________.

  [A] trading volume in the IPE's new morning electronic session is falling

  [B] London is a better business location for energy exchanges than Dublin

  [C] Britain’s regulators are less efficient than those of Ireland

  [D] the Dublin pit of the NYMEX will be more prosperous next year

  5.We can draw a conclusion from the text that___________.

  [A] it’s very unlikely that the NYMEX and the IPE could combine their businesses

  [B] the NYMEX will fail in Ireland as many precedents have shown

  [C] the two energy exchanges will figure out a way to cooperate with each other

  [D] the market environment for both energy exchanges is getting better

  答案:C A D B A





  open-outcry: n. 公开叫价

  quaint: [kweint] adj. 古怪有趣的

  sleek: [sli:k] adj. 时髦的

  pit: [pit] n. 期货交易场

  Brent crude futures:北海布伦特原油期货

  benchmark: [5bentFmB:k] n. 基准点;可依照做出衡量和判断的标准

  liquidity: [li5kwiditi] n. 流动资金;资产折现力

  West Texas Intermediate: 西德州轻质原油

  hedge fund: 对冲基金

  prop up: v. 支撑, 支持

  glitch: [^litF] n. 小故障,小毛病

  lot: [lCt] n. 一批(在一起)拍卖的物品

  viable: [5vaiEbl] adj. 可行的;可实施的

  unsustainable: [7QnsEs5teinEbl] adj. 无法维持的

  treasury-bond: 国库券

  headway: [5hedwei] n. 前进;进展

  dabble: [5dAbl] v. (作为兴趣或爱好)随便搞搞, 涉猎


  Although most other exchanges are heading in the opposite direction, in commodity markets such as the NYMEX, pressure from "locals"--self-employed traders--is helping to prop up open-outcry, although some reckon that customers pay up to five times as much as with electronic systems.

  主体句式:pressure …is helping to prop up open-outcry

  结构分析:这是一个复杂句,包含两个由although引导的让步状语从句。prop up的意思是“支持”。



  1. 答案为C,属事实细节题。根据文章第二段“纽约商品交易所试图抢走IPE的交易量”和“新开张的交易所回应了伦敦国际石油交易所进行的现代化努力”两句来看,这两家交易所是竞争石油交易的对手。

  2. 答案为A,属事实细节题。根据文章第三段,NYMEX声称“对冲基金或者能源公司这样的客户更喜欢公开叫价”可知,顾客的喜好是他们考虑采用公开叫价方式的原因之一。

  3. 答案为D,属猜词题。根据文章第四段,除了一些技术上的“glitches”之外,新交易所让人们看到了希望。显然,glitches应该是不利的方面,四个选项中,只有B的意义最符合上下文。

  4. 答案为B,属推理判断题。根据文章第四段,如果NYMEX把在都柏林的交易所开在伦敦的话,“it would stand a better chance”。可见,伦敦是能源交易所更好的业务场所。

  5. 答案为A,属推理判断题。根据文章最后两段,两家能源交易所因为交易内容相似,且两家都是著名交易所,这种市场局面最终将难以维系。作者提出了两家能否联手的问题,但两个交易所一静一动,很难合并。




  纽约商品交易所声称对冲基金或者能源公司这样的客户更喜欢公开叫价,因为这种方式照顾到了更多的流动资金。虽然其它绝大多数交易所正在取消这种公开叫价的交易方式,在纽约商品交易所这类商品市场里,来自“本地人”---那些自营商---的压力却起到了支持公开叫价的作用,尽管一些人估计客户为此要支付五倍于使用电子系统的费用。甚至伦敦国际原油交易所也没有打算放弃其交易厅。上个月他们才刚刚签署一项租约,将其在伦敦交易大厅的租期延续到2011 年。

  曼氏金融公司的交易员罗布·拉夫林说,虽然出现了一些技术故障,但都柏林的这个新建交易所正在“崭露头角”。在开张当天布伦特原油的成交量就达到了 5726手(每一手就是一份合约,相当于1000桶),是伦敦国际原油交易所当天上午更换电子交易成交量的三分之一。拉夫林预测,这一次投机是否可行到了年底就会见分晓。如果交易所迁到伦敦,则成功的机会更大。也许最终它会被迁到伦敦:不过它在爱尔兰开张就是因为那里比伦敦能更快获得监管部门的批准。






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