LIFFE allows investors and business enterprises to use financial futures to speculate or to hedge against risks of movements in gilt prices, interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, shares prices and bond prices.
Pronounced 'Life', rather than like the Irish river, Liffe is one of the world's largest financial futures markets, dealing largely in government bonds, including UK government bonds (gilts). It also trades FTSE index futures ie bets on future movements in the stock market, and money market derivatives. For more information, check out its web site: www.liffe.com.
LIFFE was originally set up as a financial futures and options exchange, and for ten years offered contracts on interest rates denominated in most of the world’s major currencies. In 1992 LIFFE merged with the London Traded Options Market (LTOM), adding equity options to its product range. In 1996, it merged with the London Commodity Exchange (LCE), and, as a result, a range of soft and agricultural commodity contracts was added to its financial portfolio. In January 2002 LIFFE became part of the Euronext Group.