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Futures and Commodity Trading
Futures and Commodity Trading
 

Trading Futures consists of traders participating in buying and selling of commodity/future contracts for delivery on a specified date. The actual trading occurs through an auction market on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) where participants correspond with other futures traders by yelling and hand signals in the futures trading pit. During geopolitically uncertain times as well as other worldwide events, futures traders are likely to see a spike in trading volume.

Futures traders or Futures Day Traders should only participate in Futures Trading with funds strictly marked as ‘risk capital’ and capital, they can afford to lose and not miss. Like any other profession, Futures Trading takes a great deal of time to create a trading strategy that works for the individual trader. Almost all futures contracts end without actual physical delivery of the commodity.

Futures market prices depend on a continuous flow of information from around the world and require a high amount of transparency. Factors such as weather, war, debt default, refugee displacement, land reclamation and deforestation can all have a major effect on supply and demand thus, as a result, the present and future price of a commodity. This information as well as the way people view the information creates a constantly changing environment for commodity prices - a process known as price discovery.

Aside from futures trading capital that is discretionary to the individual, discipline is the key ingredient to successful futures trading. When participating in trading futures, the individual must be prepared to lose most if not all of their trading capital. This is usually a result of failure to utilize discipline while futures trading. Just as with any profession, the individual looking to start trading the futures market should practice trading, without any capital risk, for several months, if not longer. The purpose of practicing is quite evident – it gives the individual a chance to trade without the financial risk.


The CBOT was established in 1848 and offers trading of:

Agricultural futures contracts: Live Cattle, Feeder Cattle, Soybeans, Soybean Oil, Soybean Meal, Wheat, Corn and Lean Hogs as well as other grains, oilseeds and dairy.

Energy futures contracts: Light Sweet Crude Oil, Natural Gas, RBOB Gasoline, Heating Oil, E-Mini Light Sweet Crude, E-Mini Natural Gas and Ethanol.

Equities futures contracts: E-Mini S&P 500 (ES); NASDAQ-100 (ND), E-Mini Dow (YM), Nikkei 225 (Yen) (NIY), Nikkei 225 (Dollar) (NKD), E-Mini NASDAQ (NQ) AND S&P 500 (SP).

Metals futures contracts: Gold (GC), Silver (SI), Platinum (PL), Palladium (PA), Copper (HG), E-mini Gold (MGC) and HR US Steel Coil (HR).

Interest Rate futures contracts: Eurodollar, TIBOR, OIS, U.S. Treasury Bonds, U.S. Treasury Notes, and T-Bonds.

FX G10 Currency Pairs and FX VolContracts.


August 2012


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