It appears the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have agreed to resolve jurisdictional authority with regard to options trading on exchange-traded funds.
This is a major step forward which could lead to options trading on many popular commodity-linked ETFs, like the streetTRACKS Gold Shares (GLD), the PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (DBC) and the iShares S&P GSCI Index Trust (GSG).
Over the past few years, the issue of who regulates what has been complicated because many commodity-related ETFs contain physical commodities or futures contracts on commodities. Almost all commodity ETFs are registered under the Securities Act of 1933, which is governed by the SEC despite the fact that commodities are regulated by the CFTC.
An exact timetable on when options on commodity ETFs will start trading is hard to predict, but it may be sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.
Ron DeLegge is the San Diego-based editor of www.etfguide.com.