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(Kitco News) - Margins will be lowered in CME Group gold, silver, platinum and copper futures as of the end of business on Monday, the exchange operator announced late Thursday.

CME Group also announced margin changes for crude oil, coal, natural gas and refined products.

A CME Group notice announcing the margin changes said they are the result of “the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage.” Typically, exchange operators raise margins—which are collateral to back up a trade—when volatility rises, and vice-versa.

For the 100-ounce Comex gold contract, the margin for “initial” speculative positions will decline to $10,125 from $11,475. The maintenance margin for existing speculative positions, plus all hedge positions, will fall to $7,500 from $8,500.

In the case of the 5,000-ounce Comex silver contract, the new initial margin for speculators will decline to $21,600 from $24,975. The maintenance margin for existing speculative positions, plus all hedge positions, will fall to $16,000 from $18,500.

For Comex copper futures, the new initial margin for speculators will decline to $6,750 from $7,763. The maintenance margin for speculators, plus all hedge positions, will decline to $5,000 from $5,750.

The new initial margin for speculators in Nymex platinum futures will fall to $3,850 from $4,950. The maintenance margin for speculators, plus all hedge positions, will decline to $3,500 from $4,500.

Margins were also lowered for smaller-sized gold, silver and copper contracts. The exchange also lowered margins for iron ore and hot rolled steel futures.

The complete CME Group announcement can be seen at the following link: http://www.cmegroup.com/tools-information/lookups/advisories/clearing/files/Chadv12-059.pdf

By Allen Sykora of Kitco News; asykora@kitco.com

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