DEFINITION of 'Look-Alike Contracts'

A financial product, such as a swap or an option, that is traded over-the-counter and that is cash settled, based on the settlement price of a similar, exchange-traded futures contract, on a specific trading day. Futures look-alike contracts are regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

BREAKING DOWN 'Look-Alike Contracts'

A NYMEX look-alike, for example, is a look-alike option or look-alike swap, based on a futures contract that is traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). The contract terms of a look-alike contract, closely correspond with the contract terms of the futures contract. Look-alike contracts are available on a variety of contracts including oil, coal, crude oil, natural gas, Brent (a major classification of crude oil) and WTI (West Texas intermediate, also known as Texas light sweet, a type of crude oil).

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