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E-minis include some high-liquidity lower margin market index future contracts with round-the-clock trading. However, volumes outside regular trading hours are much smaller.

Are there equivalent contracts in other markets around the world, accessible through an international broker such as IB?

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Actually in Europe and Asia many regular (big size) future contracts have a notional similar or smaller than the e-mini sp 500 (<= 110k USD at current market prices). I trade the CAC 40/AEX (on IB by the way) and the minis are illiquid and quote wider for the same transaction fees than the big one (10 ticks vs 1 tick for CAC 40 for instance). In Asia mini-TOPIX/NIKKEI (Japan), mini-HSI/HSCE have reasonable volumes and quote tight.

Europe

  • French CAC 40, lot size 10 = 50k USD (Euronext) (There are minis with lot size 1, relatively illiquid), IB Symbol CAC40

  • Dutch AEX, lot size 100 = 50k USD (Euronext) (There are minis with lot size 10, relatively illiquid), IB Symbol EOE

  • German DAX, lot size 25 = 300k USD, mini with lot size 5 = 65k USD (Eurex) (a bit more liquid than the previous two), IB Symbol DAX

  • British FTSE, lot size 10 = 85 k USD (ICE), IB Symbol Z

  • Euro Stoxx 50, lot size 10 = 30k USD (Eurex), IB Symbol ESTX50

Asia

  • Japanese Nikkei, lot size 1000 = 170k USD, mini with lot size 100 = 17k USD (JPX) or Topix/mini-topix (140k/14k), good liquidity for the minis, IB Symbol N225 N225M TOPX MNTPX

  • Hong Kong HSI, lot size 500 = 150k USD, mini with lot size 10 = 30k USD (HKEX), good liquidity for the minis, IB Symbols HSI MHI HHI.HK MCH.HK

In Europe and HK, the products targeted for retail are usually listed certificates (structured products), called CBBC (callable bull bear contract) in Hong Kong, Turbos in Europe. They are quite heavily marketed by financial institutions to retail traders.

For this reason (but mostly I think because of the already small size of the full size contract), the need for mini futures is less important than for US index where the big contract is ... well, big.

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  • $\begingroup$ Merci! I'm having a hard time finding some of the IB symbols for these futures, can you add them to the answer? "CAC" for example is a stock, not a future, and I couldn't find the British FTSE . $\endgroup$ – Gascoyne Nov 23 '16 at 3:52
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    $\begingroup$ I added the symbol, IB conventions are different per country, in Europe you can put the index symbol to get both the regular and mini-futures, in Asia you have to select the correct contract. You can use IB pages per exchange interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php?f=exchanges&p=asia Or IB Symbol Database to find them interactivebrokers.com/en/… $\endgroup$ – Lliane Nov 23 '16 at 4:49

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