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Back to the futures for Chinese crude

The successful opening of a long-awaited yuan-denominated oil futures contract bodes well for the country’s aim to create a regional benchmark

After nearly six years of speculation, rumours, and declared intentions, the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) finally launched China's first-ever oil futures contract on 26 March. Liquidity was strong on launch day, with 40,656 contracts worth around ¥17.6bn ($2.8bn) filtering through the system, according to the exchange's figures. The most active September contract settled at ¥429.9 a barrel, after fluctuating between ¥426.3/b and ¥447.1/b during the trading session. Before the INE opening, domestic and international market participants—both speculative investors and oil companies looking to mitigate risks taken in oil markets—might have been forgiven for scepticism. The exch

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