Cash Market


DEFINITION of 'Cash Market'

The marketplace for immediate settlement of transactions involving commodities and securities. In a cash market, the exchange of goods and money between the seller and the buyer takes place in the present, as opposed to the futures market where such an exchange takes place on a specified future date.

Also known as the spot market, since such transactions are settled "on the spot."


Cash market transactions can take place either on a regulated exchange or over-the-counter (OTC). In contrast, transactions involving futures are conducted exclusively on exchanges, while forward transactions, such as currency forwards, are generally executed on the OTC market.

For a specific commodity, the price in the cash market is usually less than its price in the futures market. This is because there are carrying costs, such as storage and insurance, involved in holding a commodity until it can be delivered at some point in the future.

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  1. What does it mean when futures prices are in contango?

    a. The basis is positive. b. Future prices are higher than cash prices. c. The market is in backwardation. d. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why do companies enter into futures contracts?

    Different types of companies may enter into futures contracts for different purposes. The most common reason is to hedge ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What does a futures contract cost?

    The value of a futures contract is derived from the cash value of the underlying asset. While a futures contract may have ... Read Full Answer >>

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