Spot Market

Currencies can be traded in spot, futures, options (vanilla), binary options, and CFD (contracts for difference) market. While currency futures and options (vanilla) are offered only by regulated exchanges, binary options are offered by both regulated exchange and OTC binary brokers. The other two kinds of currency trading (CFDs and spot Forex) are only offered on an OTC basis. A derivative is a financial contract whose value changes with the changes in the value of an underlying asset.

The difference between the prices of the two contracts would be cash settled in the investor’s brokerage account, and no physical product will change hands. However, the trader could also lose if the commodity’s price was lower than the purchase price specified in the futures contract. The exchange where the future trades will determine if the contract is for physical delivery or if it can be cash settled. A corporation may enter into a physical delivery contract to lock in—hedge—the price of a commodity they need for production. However, most futures contracts are from traders who speculate on the trade.

In particular, for a market that’s in contango, the price of the replacement futures contract will be higher than the price of the contract that just expired. That creates a small amount of friction that over time can add up to a huge downward pull on the return for a given futures investment compared to the spot price of the underlying product. For traders and investors, lower futures prices or backwardation is a signal that the current price is too high. As a result, they expect the spot price will eventually fall as we get closer to the expiration dates of the futures contracts. Backwardation is when the current price—spot—price of an underlying asset is higher than prices trading in the futures market.

The quote for immediate settlement at any given time is effectively the spot price. To understand why contango matters, it’s important to know how futures trading typically works. For most commodities, there are a relatively small number of futures market participants who are actually interested in buying or selling the underlying commodity good.

A spot market can be through an exchange or over-the-counter (OTC). Spot markets can operate wherever the infrastructure exists to conduct the transaction. That wouldn’t pose a problem if the prices for futures contracts in different months were the same.

Metals contracts can change hands in London and Shanghai when U.S. markets are closed. But the largest and most influential market for metals prices is the U.S.

However, CFDs are mere contracts that allow a trader to bet on the price change in an asset. It does not result in delivery as in the case of a spot Forex market.

What’s the Best Way to Play Backwardation in the Futures Market?

In the USA, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission determines the position limit in futures and options contracts. Based on these restrictions, we can classify currency futures as derivatives. The spot market is where financial instruments, such as commodities, currencies and securities, are traded for immediate delivery. A futures contract, on the other hand, is based on the delivery of the underlying asset at a future date. Traders determine silver and gold spot prices on futures exchanges.

How do you calculate spot price?

The spot price is for payment and delivery “on the spot.” The futures price locks in the cost of a commodity in advance. Commodity futures prices can be calculated as follows: Add storage costs to the spot price of the commodity. Multiply the resulting value by Euler’s number (2.718281828)

There are many similarities between currency CFDs and spot Forex trading. A trader could use the same charting platform, receive same quotes, etc.

The price gap seen at the beginning of a new contract is due to the risk premium, which is added by the market participants to protect themselves. Therefore, the exchange rate calculation indicates that currency futures are derivatives. When futures prices are higher than current prices, there’s the expectation that the spot price will rise to converge with the futures price. For example, traders will sell or short futures contracts that have higher prices in the future and purchase at the lower spot prices.

These contracts are closed out or netted—the difference in the original trade and closing trade price—and are cash settled. Similar to futures and options, CFDs use spot market prices for trade execution and settlement. Since the price of a currency CFD is directly derived from the spot Forex market prices, we can categorize Forex CFDs as derivatives.

spot price definition
  • Currencies can be traded in spot, futures, options (vanilla), binary options, and CFD (contracts for difference) market.

What is spot price mean?

The spot price is the current market price at which an asset is bought or sold for immediate payment and delivery. It is differentiated from the forward price or the futures price, which are prices at which an asset can be bought or sold for delivery in the future.

The price of a currency in a CFD market follows the price in a spot market. Therefore, lack of delivery of assets and price identification (and settlement) mechanism indicate that currency CFDs are pure derivative products.

Examples of Spot Prices

By purchasing a derivative contract, a buyer agrees to purchase the underlying asset on a specific date and at a specific price. However, it is quite difficult to categorize all forms of currency trading purely by this definition. Therefore, let us examine various aspects pertaining to different kinds of Forex trading and determine which of them can be categorized as derivatives. While the spot price of a security, commodity, or currency is important in terms of immediate buy-and-sell transactions, it perhaps has more importance in regard to the large derivatives markets.

Through derivatives, buyers and sellers can partially mitigate the risk posed by constantly fluctuating spot prices. Currency trades executed in a futures market are settled after a period of 30 days. Contracts with even longer settlement periods are also sometimes available. The currencies also derive their exchange rate from the prices quoted in the spot market. Therefore, longer settlement period and the price identification mechanism indicate that currency futures is a derivative market.

Why Does a Spot Price Matter?

The result is more demand for the commodity driving the spot price higher. Since the futures contract price is below the current spot price, investors who are net long the commodity. These investors benefit from the increase in futures prices over time as the futures price and spot price converge. Additionally, a futures market experiencing backwardation is beneficial to speculators and short-term traders who wish to gain from arbitrage. Futures allow investors to lock in a price, by either buying or selling, the underlying security or commodity.

Spot prices are most frequently referenced in relation to the price of commodity futures contracts, such as contracts for oil, wheat, or gold. You buy or sell a stock at the quoted price, and then exchange the stock for cash. The exchange rate of a currency in the futures market is derived from the price traded in the spot market. Usually, for the same currency, prices traded in the futures market will be a little higher than prices traded in the futures market. As we get closer to the settlement date, the price gap between the futures market and spot market will narrow.

Although, the all-night derivative market does exist, it is largely illiquid and cannot be accessed easily by retail traders. Furthermore, the exchange specifies a maximum position size for small and large (institutional) traders.

Spot markets are also referred to as “physical markets” or “cash markets” because trades are swapped for the asset effectively immediately. A spot trade, also known as a spot transaction, refers to the purchase or sale of a foreign currency, financial instrument or commodity for instant delivery on a specified spot date. In a foreign exchange spot trade, the exchange rate on which the transaction is based is referred to as the spot exchange rate. The spot market or cash market is a public financial market in which financial instruments or commodities are traded for immediate delivery. It contrasts with a futures market, in which delivery is due at a later date.

Similarly, farming operations might sell crop futures to processed food manufacturers that need those crops as ingredients for their prepared food items. In these cases, these parties will hold onto their futures contracts until expiration and then make good on whatever delivery responsibilities are called for under the contracts. The spot price is the current price in the marketplace at which a given asset—such as a security, commodity, or currency—can be bought or sold for immediate delivery. While spot prices are specific to both time and place, in a global economy the spot price of most securities or commodities tends to be fairly uniform worldwide when accounting for exchange rates.

Basics of Spot Price

In contrast to the spot price, a futures price is an agreed upon price for future delivery of the asset. If a trader bought a futures contract and the price of the commodity rose and was trading above the original contract price at expiration, then they would have a profit. Before expiration, the buy trade—long position—would be offset or unwound with a sell trade for the same amount at the current price effectively closing the long position.