Basket Trade

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DEFINITION of 'Basket Trade'

An order to buy or sell a group of securities simultaneously. Basket trading is essential for institutional investors and investment funds who wish to hold a large number of securities in certain proportions. As cash moves in and out of the fund, large baskets of securities must be bought or sold simultaneously, so that price movements for each security do not alter the portfolio allocation. In order for a trade to be considered a "basket trade," it must typically involve the sale or purchase of 15 or more securities.

BREAKING DOWN 'Basket Trade'

For example, an index fund aims to track its target index by holding most or all the securities of the index. As new cash comes in that could increase the value of the fund, management must simultaneously buy a large number of securities in the proportion they are present in the index. If it were not possible to execute a basket trade on all of these securities, then the quick price movements of the securities would prevent the index fund from holding the securities in the correct proportions.

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