DEFINITION of 'Fictitious Trade'
1) A trade that is booked with an execution date far in the future, and is adjusted to include the correct settlement and trade date when the transaction is completed. A fictitious trade is used in the processing of a securities transaction as a form of placeholder, and is found when open dates or rates are being used.
2) A securities order used to affect the price of a security, but which does not result in shares being competitively bid for and no real change in ownership. Wash sales and matched orders are a type of fictitious trade. A fictitious trade is designed to give the impression that the market is moving in a certain direction, when in fact it is being manipulated by a broker.
BREAKING DOWN 'Fictitious Trade'
For example, two companies enter into a series of ongoing transactions whose values are based on an interest rate set each week. Because the interest rate can change from week to week, an open execution date is used for the transaction until the interest rate is announced. Two transactions are recorded. The first is a cash transaction with a settlement date the same as the trade date; the second transaction has the same trade date but a settlement date several weeks later. Each week, the second transaction is updated to include the correct interest rate and settlement date.