1. Introduction to Commodities
  2. Commodities: Cocoa
  3. Commodities: Coffee
  4. Commodities: Copper
  5. Commodities: Corn
  6. Commodities: Cotton
  7. Commodities: Crude Oil
  8. Commodities: Feeder Cattle
  9. Commodities: Gold
  10. Commodities: Heating Oil
  11. Commodities: Live Cattle
  12. Commodities: Lumber
  13. Commodities: Natural Gas
  14. Commodities: Oats
  15. Commodities: Orange Juice
  16. Commodities: Platinum
  17. Commodities: Rough Rice
  18. Commodities: Silver
  19. Commodities: Soybeans and Soybean Oil
  20. Commodities: Sugar
  21. Commodities: Wheat
  22. Understanding Commodities Trading

The ancient Egyptians were the first to smelt gold around 3600 B.C. A thousand years later, gold jewelry emerged as the goldsmiths of ancient Mesopotamia crafted a burial headdress made of lapis, carnelian beads and leaf-shaped gold pendants. Since these early days, mankind has been captivated by gold, and the desire to own it has led to great gold rushes and wars. In 1511, King Ferdinand of Spain declared, "Get gold, humanely if you can, but at all hazards, get gold!” Today, gold is sought after for investment purposes and a strong jewelry market and is also used in the manufacturing of numerous electronic and medical devices.

Contract Specifications

Ticker Symbol

GC (CME Globex)

Contract Size

100 troy ounces

Contract Months

G, J, K, M, Q, V, Z

Trading Hours

CME Globex: Sunday – Friday, 6:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (there’s an hour break from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. each day)

Last Trading Day

The third last business day of the delivery month

Price Quote

U.S. dollars and cents per troy ounce

Tick Size

$0.10 per troy ounce ($10 per contract)



Gold-mining operations take place on every continent except Antarctica. Much of the world's gold was mined in the modern, post-war era. In recent decades, more countries have emerged as gold producers. As a result, gold mining has become less geographically concentrated and more stable. Today, the top producing countries are China, Australia, Russia, the U.S., Canada, South Africa and Peru.             

Price Drivers

Gold has experienced some of the most dramatic price fluctuations in the commodity markets. Some factors that drive price include:

  • central bank reserves
  • value of the U.S. dollar
  • interest rates
  • worldwide jewelry and industrial demand (including from emerging economies)
  • wealth protection (especially during times of geopolitical tensions)



Commodities: Heating Oil
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