Derivatives exchange Eurex has become the first provider to launch thematic index futures from STOXX.

The three futures contracts, which started trading on 30 June, are based on the STOXX Global Breakthrough Healthcare index, the STOXX Global Digitalisation index and the STOXX Global Digital Security index.

According to Eurex, the STOXX thematic index family – calculated by sister company Qontigo – already underlies ETFs with more than $8.8bn in assets managed by BlackRock.

Jason Warr, global co-head of ETF markets at BlackRock, said: “The launch of the first thematic index futures by Eurex complements our ETF offering.

“The launch will help deepen liquidity in thematic investing and provide investors with greater access to thematic strategies as they seek to express more granular views in their portfolios.”

Eurex said it launched the indices in response to growing demand from asset managers seeking to align their investments with “long-term structural trends that are transforming modern economies and societies”.

According to Morningstar, assets under management in thematic funds tripled to $806bn globally between 2020 and 2021.

Axel Lomholt (pictured), chief product officer, indices and benchmarks at Qontigo, said: “The STOXX thematic indices follow an objective, rules-based and clear methodology that makes them investable and suitable as underlyings for futures and other kinds of investment products.”

Despite the huge uptick in demand, thematic ETFs have had somewhat of a reality check in 2022, booking their worst quarter of flows in Q1 since 2019 despite new launches continuing at a rapid pace.

The product class saw inflows of just €600m in Q1, down from €2.1bn during the previous quarter according to data from Morningstar. 

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