Contract Unit

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Contract Unit'

The actual amount of the underlying asset represented by a single futures or derivatives contract. The underlying asset could be anything that is traded on a futures exchange, from agricultural commodities and metals to currencies and interest rates. Since futures contracts are highly standardized, the contract unit will specify the exact amount and specifications of the asset, such as the number of barrels of oil or amount of foreign currency. The contract unit for an options contract is 100 - meaning that every contract is for the purchase or sale of 100 shares.


Also known as trading unit.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Contract Unit'

Different futures contracts have different contract units and measurements. For example, a CAD/USD (Canadian dollar/U.S. dollar) futures contract traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has a contract size of C$100,000, while an E-mini contract also traded on the CME has a size of C$10,000. A EUR/USD contract on the CME has a size of E$125,000, while a gold futures contract has a size of 100 troy ounces. As a result of these differences in sizes and specifications, there may be considerable variances in the actual dollar value of different futures contracts.


Contract units make it easy for investors to decide on the number of contracts needed to hedge their exposure. For example, a U.S. company that has to pay C$1 million to its Canadian supplier in three months and wishes to hedge its exposure to a rising Canadian dollar, can do so through the purchase of 10 CAD/USD futures contracts.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Buyer's Call

    An agreement between a buyer and seller whereby a commodity purchase ...
  2. Buyer's Market

    A situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers ...
  3. Cash Commodity

    In futures trading, the cash commodity is delivered for payments. ...
  4. Cash Price

    The actual amount of money that is exchanged when commodities ...
  5. Cash Settlement

    A settlement method used in certain future and option contracts ...
  6. Basis

    1. The variation between the spot price of a deliverable commodity ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Interpreting Volume For The Futures Market

    Learn how to read the volume reports, look at the relation to liquidity and interpret volume using open interest.
  2. Options & Futures

    Options On Futures: A World Of Potential Profit

    There's one simple hurdle in the transition from stock to futures options: learning about product specifications.
  3. Insurance

    Futures Fundamentals

    For those who are new to futures but want a solid understanding of them, this tutorial explains what futures contracts are, how they work and why investors use them.
  4. Chart Advisor

    Cocoa Prices Setting Up For A Move Lower

    Cocoa prices have been trending lower over the past several months and the recent bearish crossover between the 50-day and 200-day moving averages suggest that the long-term downtrend is gaining ...
  5. Forex Strategies

    Are divergence trading strategies useful in forex trading?

    Use divergence indicators to identify market tops or bottoms, and find out how trading divergence strategies are used in forex trading.
  6. Options & Futures

    What are the differences between divergence and convergence?

    Find out what technical analysts mean when they talk about a market experiencing divergence or convergence and how they affect trading strategies.
  7. Options & Futures

    What are the most common momentum oscillators used in options trading?

    Read about some of the most common technical momentum oscillators that options traders use, and learn why momentum is a critical concept for options trading.
  8. Options & Futures

    Futures Quotes Explained The "Easy" Way

    If there’s a security whose price fluctuates, there can theoretically be a futures marketplace for it.
  9. Options & Futures

    How are Bollinger Bands® used in options trading?

    Use Bollinger Bands to identify volatility changes and place options trades at the right time; profit in bull or bear markets using these strategies.
  10. A commodity is a basic good used in commerce.
    Markets

    What are Commodities?

    A commodity is a basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with other commodities of the same type. Commonly traded commodities include gold, beef, oil, lumber and natural gas. Additional ...

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Santa Claus Rally

    A surge in the price of stocks that often occurs in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. There are numerous explanations ...
  2. Commodity

    1. A basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with other commodities of the same type. Commodities are most often ...
  3. Deferred Revenue

    Advance payments or unearned revenue, recorded on the recipient's balance sheet as a liability, until the services have been ...
  4. Multinational Corporation - MNC

    A corporation that has its facilities and other assets in at least one country other than its home country. Such companies ...
  5. SWOT Analysis

    A tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. Specifically, SWOT is a basic, ...
  6. Simple Interest

    A quick method of calculating the interest charge on a loan. Simple interest is determined by multiplying the interest rate ...
Trading Center