Futures Exchange

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DEFINITION of 'Futures Exchange'

Traditionally, a term referring to a central marketplace where futures contracts and options on futures contracts are traded. More recently, with the growth in electronic trading, it is also used to describe the activity of futures trading itself.

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BREAKING DOWN 'Futures Exchange'

The largest futures exchange in the U.S., the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, was formed in the late 1890s when the only futures contracts offered were for agricultural products. The 1970s saw the emergence of currency futures in major currencies. Today's futures exchanges are significantly larger, with hedging of financial instruments via futures comprising the majority of the futures market activity. Futures exchanges play an important role in the operation of the global financial system.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Why are futures contracts important?

    On the surface, futures contracts are an instrument of price speculators who want to hedge a price risk or profit from coming ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. What are the main risks associated with trading derivatives?

    The primary risks associated with trading derivatives are market, counterparty, liquidity and interconnection risks. Derivatives ... Read Full Answer >>

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