Futures trading

What a futures contract is
Types of futures
Futures CFDs trading
Pros and peculiarities of futures CFDs trading
Expiration time and trading schedule
Strategies for trading futures CFDs
Benefits of trading futures CFDs with InstaForex
Trading conditions for CFD on futures
Other trading instruments

What is a futures contract?

Futures contract is an agreement between a buyer and a seller that an asset, such as a product, currency or index, will be bought/sold at a predetermined price and date in the future. Other details (package, marking, quantity) are indicated in the futures contract specification.

Since futures contracts are standardized in terms of the validity period and contract size they can be freely traded on exchanges. Both parties have obligations to an exchange until futures are executed.

Types of futures

Physical delivery

A contract of this type implies a legal agreement to buy and sell a particular commodity or financial instrument. Such a contract specifies a price and a volume of an underlying asset as well as a payment deadline. They are used in the real economy sector as the fact of delivery serves as a certain guarantee of sales and insures the parties against changes that will occur in the future in the market. Such futures contracts are most often concluded in the farm industry, for example, futures on the goods price in the next season. In case of default, the exchange imposes a penalty on the guilty party.

Cash settlement

Futures contracts do not mean a physical delivery of an asset, but require a cash settlement between the parties in a fixed term. For example, having received a contract on oil which cost 60 euros per barrel, the contract holder will receive a profit of 10 euros if the price rises to 70 euros. Such contracts are used in trading as there is no need to deal with transportation and storage of oil. A personal computer and Internet access are sufficient for making transactions.

Fast fact:
Physically delivered futures contracts can be concluded in the industrial sector as well. Thus, for example, futures on oil can be both physically delivered and cash settled.

Trading futures CFDs

We suggest a popular trading instrument – a contract for difference (CFD). It is a financial derivative which enables investors to trade assets of the stock and commodity exchanges without actually owning them. The principle of trading CFDs is that a speculator buys or sells a contract for holding equities or commodity futures instead of a physical delivery of these assets. Nevertheless, a trader gains the same profits as if speculating in actual assets on those markets. However, the contract execution is simplified.

What is the difference between CFDs on futures and CFDs on equities or indices?

In effect, underlying assets of CFDs on futures are commodities. InstaForex clients are free to trade CFDs on precious metals, crude oil, natural gas, agricultural produce etc. The complete list of assets available for trading is presented on the webpage with trading instruments.

Benefits of trading cfds on futures

Round-the-clock online trading
Trading futures on such popular commodities as gold and oil is available 24 hours a day, which is highly convenient as one can complement it with work or studies.
High liquidity and big trading volumes daily
Futures contracts on gold and silver are in great demand. These can be used in a short-term strategy and even scalping.
Reliability and stability
If you prefer long-term investments, pay attention to futures contracts on agricultural produce, which are in demand every day.
Trading in any term
While most futures have expiration dates, CFDS on futures can be traded regardless of these, as the broker can change expiration dates to new ones.
A wide range of instruments
InstaForex offers its customers an opportunity to choose from a number of instruments such as futures CFDs suitable for both long-term and short-term investors.
Easy trade execution
Futures CFDs bring customers the same profit as trading real assets, but the deal execution is simpler. What is more, trading CFDs does not require big investments.

Expiration time and trading schedule

The time of trading CFDs on futures varies depending on the underlying asset. Trading popular futures contracts for difference such as gold and crude oil is available round-the-clock on various global commodities futures markets.

The time for trading goods which are niche and less popular, such as cotton or corn, is limited. At night time GMT, trading these goods is not conducted on any exchange. Among these goods there are also wood (lumber), coffee, cocoa beans, sugar, and frozen orange juice. Besides, trading these futures is seasonally adjusted.

Speaking about expiration time, CFDs on futures have some advantages comparing to classic futures contracts. The last ones close at the current market price at the moment of expiration, and it does not matter whether a deal is profitable or not. Meanwhile, CFDs on futures can be replaced by a broker to similar futures with the next expiration date before they expire. It does not make any impact upon trader’s deals and provides an opportunity to trade CFDs on futures with any expiration terms.

Strategies for trading futures CFDs

When working with futures CFDs, traders can get profits if they make a right projection of price movements in future. A price can go upwards or downwards – it depends on the levels of supply or demand for the asset. Several strategies have been developed to make trading futures contracts for difference more effective. Here are two of them.

Long Buy. When buying a commodity, a trader opens a long trade. To gain profits from this trade, it is necessary that the asset price rises. It is better to trade contracts on agriculture products and food within this strategy. These are not the most popular assets, but farm goods are always in demand in daily life and have rather big volumes of production. For example, it is profitable to open long-term trades on cocoa beans or corn, buying an asset at the market bottom (when the price is minimal). Thus, traders can save their capital. However, this strategy does not guarantee huge profits.

Short Sell. This type of deal is opposite to a long buy trade. In fact, traders take the same steps, but profits are generated if the asset price falls. In this case it is better to trade futures contracts on gold and silver as these assets are quite popular.

Besides these two strategies, traders can apply hedging and dual trading (if it is allowed by a broker). Trading futures CFDs is a great opportunity for both newbies and experienced traders with small initial capital. Base strategies are simple and help traders get profits without investing big sums and without actual owning of the underlying assets.

Trading conditions for CFD on futures

Title Group Symbol Tick size Tick cost Commission Margin Session The nearest expiration date
Platinum Metals #PLF 0.5 10 $ 30 $ 2000 $ 01:00-24:00
Palladium Metals #PAF 0.5 10 $ 30 $ 750 $ 01:00-24:00
Futures Copper Metals #HGX20, #HGZ20, #HGF21 0.001 10 $ 30 $ 750 $ 01:00-24:00
Futures Gold Metals #GCX20, #GCZ20, #GCG21 0.5 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 01:00-24:00
Futures Silver Metals #SIX20, #SIZ20, #SIF21 0.01 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 01:00-24:00
miNY Crude Oil Energy #QMZ20, #QMF21, #QMG21 0.03 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 01:00-24:00
Crude Oil Light Sweet Energy #CL 0.01 10 $ 30 $ 2000 $ 01:00-24:00
(20.11.2020) [1]
miNY Natural Gas Energy #QGX20, #QGZ20, #QGF21 0.005 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 01:00-24:00
Natural Gas Energy #NG 0.001 10 $ 30 $ 2000 $ 01:00-24:00
(28.10.2020) [1]
Brent Crude Oil Energy #XBZZ20, #XBZF21, #XBZG21 0.01 10 $ 30 $ 1500 $ 01:00-24:00
NY Harbor Gasoline Energy #XRBX20, #XRBZ20, #XRBF21 0.001 10 $ 30 $ 1000 $ 01:00-24:00
Heating Oil Energy #HOX20, #HOZ20, #HOF21 0.001 10 $ 30 $ 1000 $ 01:00-24:00
Futures Live Cattle Agriculture #LEZ20, #LEG21, #LEJ21 0.02 10 $ 30 $ 1000 $ 16:30-21:05
Futures Lean Hog Agriculture #HEZ20, #HEG21, #HEJ21 0.02 10 $ 30 $ 1000 $ 16:30-21:05
Futures Feeder Cattle Agriculture #GFV20, #GFX20, #GFF21 0.02 10 $ 30 $ 1000 $ 16:30-21:05
Futures Soybeans Agriculture #ZSX20, #ZSF21, #ZSH21 0.25 10 $ 30 $ 800 $ 03:00-15:45
Futures Wheat Agriculture #ZWZ20, #ZWH21, #ZWK21 0.3 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 03:00-15:45
Futures Soybean Oil Agriculture #ZLZ20, #ZLF21, #ZLH21 0.01 10 $ 30 $ 1000 $ 03:00-15:45
Futures Soybean Meal Agriculture #ZMZ20, #ZMF21, #ZMH21 0.1 10 $ 30 $ 1000 $ 03:00-15:45
Futures Corn Agriculture #ZCZ20, #ZCH21, #ZCK21 0.2 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 03:00-15:45
Sugar Goods #SBH21, #SBK21, #SBN21 0.01 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 10:30-21:00
Orange Juice Goods #JOX20, #JOF21, #JOH21 0.25 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 15:00-21:00
Lumber Goods #LBSX20, #LBSF21, #LBSH21 0.5 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 17:00-00:00
Cocoa Goods #CCZ20, #CCH21, #CCK21 2 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 11:45-20:30
Coffee Goods #KCZ20, #KCH21, #KCK21 0.25 10 $ 30 $ 1000 $ 11:15-20:30
Cotton Goods #CTZ20, #CTH21, #CTK21 0.07 10 $ 30 $ 500 $ 04:00-21:20
US Dollar Index Indices #USDX 0.01 1.00 $ 0 $ 1 % 01:00-24:00
S&P 500 Index Indices #SPX 0.01 0.01 $ 0 $ 1 % 10:00-22:59
Dow Jones Industrial Average Indices #INDU 0.1 0.1 $ 0 $ 1 % 10:00-22:59
Swiss Market Index Indices #SMI 0.1 0.1 CHF 0 $ 1 % 10:00-22:59
FTSE 100 Indices #FTSE 0.1 0.1 GBP 0 $ 1 % 10:00-22:59
Nasdaq-100 Indices #NDX 0.1 0.1 $ 0 $ 1 % 10:00-22:59
Nikkei 225 Indices #N225 1 1 JPY 0 $ 1 % 04:35-09:09 [2]
Hang Seng Index Indices #HSI 1 1 HK$ 0 $ 1 % 04:30-10:59 [2]
DAX 30 Indices #DAX 0.1 0.1 EUR 0 $ 1 % 10:00-22:59
IBEX35 Indices #SPAIN35 0.1 0.1 EUR 0 $ 1 % 10:00-20:59
Netherlands 25 Index Indices #AEX25 0.01 0.01 EUR 0 $ 1 % 10:00-22:59
FTSE MIB Indices #ITALY40 0.1 0.1 EUR 0 $ 1 % 10:00-18:29
STOXX Europe 50 Indices #STOXX50 0.1 0.1 EUR 0 $ 1 % 10:00-22:59
Australia 200 Index Indices #ASX200 0.1 0.1 AUD 0 $ 1 % 03:00-08:59
CAC40 Indices #FRANCE40 0.1 0.1 EUR 0 $ 1 % 10:00-22:59

Buy-swap for all trading instruments is -0.1, Sell-swap is -0.2.
The minimum trade value is 0.01 lots (1 lot for cent accounts).

Trading CFDs and futures contracts with InstaForex offers the following advantages

Trading is available from a personal computer or mobile device at any spot on the globe.

Trading CFDs and futures contracts does not require big investment, thus traders with a modest deposit on an account can afford to work with these financial derivatives.

Leverage offered by the broker enables traders to step up a contract’s amount without investing their own funds.

Traders are free to choose any hours to work with CFDs as such contracts are traded outside exchange floors. Therefore, trading CFDs is unaffected by the schedule of sessions.

A trader is able to make profits both from prices moving down (short positions) and prices moving up (long positions). The most important is to determine precisely a further direction of an asset’s price. In other words, a trader can earn regardless of a market trend.

A trader can mitigate risks, hedging positions. Thus, a good solution is to open positions, correlated to each other, on several underlying assets. With reverse positions, it is possible to gain profits whatever trend is unfolding.

One of the sheer advantages is a wide range of trading assets available with InstaForex. Even demanding traders are sure to find instruments to suit their needs.

Other trading instruments

Options trading with InstaForex

Forex options are gaining in popularity among traders as this type of trading can yield unlimited profits. Besides, the principles of trading are rather simple and easily understood even by beginners. Choosing from intraday, expiry, and binary options, a speculator can trade any asset ranging from currencies and metals to shares of well-known companies. An option investment will make a profit if a contract condition is fulfilled. In other words, a trader should foresee whether an activation price will be either higher or lower than a closing price.

Metals trading with InstaForex

Precious metals are one of the most stable and effective tools for saving money. Having a status of the safe-haven asset, gold helps investors to protect their funds both during economic stability and financial turmoil. That is why, for many decades gold has been an integral part of asset portfolios of many investors.

We give you the opportunity not only to invest in precious metals, but also to use this trading instrument for making transactions with forward contracts that bring decent profits. At InstaForex you can start trading CFDs on gold, silver, copper, platinum, and palladium.

Trading on Forex

Currency trading is activities of forex market participants that include analysis of the current situation, forecast of market dynamics, and making deals on currency pairs. The key benefits of trading on Forex are high profits, accessible software, low commissions, and free work schedule.

CFDs on shares

CFDs on shares are traded in the same way as currencies: a speculator buys a contract for difference, sells it, and profits from a price change. InstaForex offers CFDs on shares of 92 companies listed on the world’s largest stock exchanges. With the leverage of 1:20, you can significantly increase your profits with minimum investments. However, one should keep in mind all possible risks and develop or find a successful strategy that will mitigate them.


Trading cryptocurrencies with InstaForex is an opportunity to make deals on digital assets without buying or selling crypto instruments on their own. When trading CFDs on bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, or ripple, you profit from their price changes. InstaForex clients can also use relevant recommendations of InstaForex analysts and the latest news from the crypto world that will help take a well-thought-out decision and make a winning deal.

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