Spot Rate

Definition of 'Spot Rate'


The price quoted for immediate settlement on a commodity, a security or a currency. The spot rate, also called “spot price,” is based on the value of an asset at the moment of the quote. This value is in turn based on how much buyers are willing to pay and how much sellers are willing to accept, which depends on factors such as current market value and expected future market value. As a result, spot rates change frequently and sometimes dramatically.

Investopedia explains 'Spot Rate'


In currency transactions, the spot rate is influenced by the demands of individuals and businesses wishing to transact in a foreign currency, as well as by forex traders. The spot rate from a foreign exchange perspective is also called the “benchmark rate,” “straightforward rate” or “outright rate.”

Besides currencies, assets that have spot rates include commodities (e.g., crude oil, conventional gasoline, propane, cotton, gold, copper, coffee, wheat, lumber) and bonds. Commodity spot rates are based on supply and demand for these items, while bond spot rates are based on the zero coupon rate. A number of sources, including Bloomberg, Morningstar and Thomson Reuters, provide spot rate information to traders.

Spot settlement i.e. the transfer of funds that completes a spot transaction, normally occurs one or two business days from the trade date, also called the horizon. The spot date is the day when settlement occurs. Regardless of what happens in the markets between the date the transaction is initiated and the date it settles, the transaction will be completed at the agreed-upon spot rate.

The spot rate is also used in determining a forward rate—the price of a future financial transaction—since a commodity, security or currency’s expected future value is based in part on its current value and in part on the risk-free rate and the time until the contract matures. Traders can extrapolate an unknown spot rate if they know the futures price, risk-free rate and time to maturity.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Benchmark Bond

    A bond that provides a standard against which the performance of other bonds can be measured. Government bonds are almost always used as benchmark bonds. Also referred to as "benchmark issue" or "bellwether issue".
  2. Market Capitalization

    The total dollar market value of all of a company's outstanding shares. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying a company's shares outstanding by the current market price of one share. The investment community uses this figure to determine a company's size, as opposed to sales or total asset figures.
  3. Oil Reserves

    An estimate of the amount of crude oil located in a particular economic region. Oil reserves must have the potential of being extracted under current technological constraints. For example, if oil pools are located at unattainable depths, they would not be considered part of the nation's reserves.
  4. Joint Venture - JV

    A business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it.
  5. Aggregate Risk

    The exposure of a bank, financial institution, or any type of major investor to foreign exchange contracts - both spot and forward - from a single counterparty or client. Aggregate risk in forex may also be defined as the total exposure of an entity to changes or fluctuations in currency rates.
  6. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
Trading Center