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China introduces silver futures contracts

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SHANGHAI, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai Futures Exchange (SFE) started the trading of China's first silver futures exchange on Thursday.

On the first trading day, the benchmark listing price was 6,166 yuan(about 979.77 U.S. dollars) per kg, according to statistics released by the SFE.

And the first batch of eight listed futures contracts received the accumulative amount of 349,100 hands.

The contracts will be traded in yuan. The price fluctuation is set to be limited to 5 percent per day, and the minimum margin requirement is 7 percent of the contract value, according to a statement posted on the website of the SFE.

By the end of play Thursday, the main delivery contract in September closed at 6,140 yuan, 26 yuan lower than the benchmark listing price. And the daily transaction volume was about 260,000 hands.

The new trading option will provide China with a pricing mechanism on silver, upgrade the management of silver-related enterprises as well as readjust the silver industry structure, said Huo Ruirong, vice manager of the SFE.

China has exceeded Peru and Mexico and become the world's leading producer of silver. And the country is also the second-largest consumer of the precious metal after the United States.

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