Spot Trade

DEFINITION of 'Spot Trade'

The purchase or sale of a foreign currency or commodity for immediate delivery. Spot trades are settled "on the spot", as opposed to at a set date in the future. Futures transactions that expire in the current month are also considered spot trades.

Also known as "cash trades".

BREAKING DOWN 'Spot Trade'

Spot trades are the opposite of futures contracts, which usually expire well before any physical delivery. Foreign-exchange contracts are the most common kinds of spot trades. If these kinds of contracts are not settled immediately, traders would expect to be compensated for the time value of their money for the duration of the delivery. Since these contracts are settled electronically, the forex market is essentially instantaneous.

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