Split Close

DEFINITION of 'Split Close'

A situation that refers to price differences within a series of final daily futures-contract transactions occurring at the close of a trading session. A split close occurs if more than two contracts with the same underlying, trade at different prices during the final minutes of the markets. Split closes are a common occurrence on futures exchanges.


A split close happens when contracts with the same underlying instrument, but different maturity dates, have different closing prices. A futures contract is a type of derivative instrument in which a buyer and seller agree to transact a set of financial instruments or physical commodities for future delivery at a specified date and price.

A number of contracts are available at any one time for a particular instrument, based on the month that the contract expires. For example, the contract months for corn futures are March (H), May (K), July (N), September (U) and December (Z). If the March and May contracts have different closing prices, a split close occurs. For example, a split close also happens if a July corn contract has a positive gain at the close, while a September corn has a loss.