EURUSD 1.1697 USDJPY 111.35 USDCAD 1.2487 EURCZK 26.031 USDCZK 22.249 EURPLN 4.2508 USDPLN 3.6339
EURUSD 1.1697 USDJPY 111.35 USDCAD 1.2487 EURCZK 26.031 USDCZK 22.249 EURPLN 4.2508 USDPLN 3.6339

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Learn the basics of financial markets

For those who use MetaTrader platforms and intend to trade with commodities and stock indices, expiration presents an important fact, with the principle of which they should be familiar

Rule of thumb

  • The futures contracts are traded in series. 
  • Each of the series has different expiry dates.
  • Investors trading through the MetaTrader platforms have the information concerning the expiry of particular series of each contract in the Table of Expirations.

Expiration of instruments occurs in a situation, when there was an expiration of the underlying futures contract. Such situation creates a need for the broker to renew it.

 

For users of MetaTrader platforms this means that once a commodity or a stock index they are trading with has expired, their current trading position will be automatically closed. Investors used to holding long-term positions, need to be aware of the fact that they will have to renew manually their trading position on the platform, if they intend to continue trading a particular instrument.

 

In the example provided below, we demonstrate how the Table of Expirations needs to be interpreted:

 

  Status Jul-14
  Open 13/05/2014
OIL Close only 13/06/2014
  Expiry 17/06/2014

 

On the right side of the table one will always see the name of the appropriate instrument – in our case, this is a commodity (specifically oil, traded according to the West Texas Intermediate standard, also known as WTI). In the center of the table, there is a column, showing the status of an instrument.

  • Open - indicates the date on which the instrument began to be traded. On the same line of the next column we can see that the instrument started to be traded on 13th May 2014.
  • Close only - indicates the date from which it is possible to solely close out a position on a given instrument. The term 13th June 2014 in our case means that this presents the latest day for opening a position – after this date, a position can be solely closed.
  • Expiry – on that day all positions not closed till the end of this date will be closed within the last hour of trading time. In the following example, we will see, how this works in practice.

 

Let us assume that on Friday 13th June 2014, the investor opens a position on the oil market. The underlying futures contract for that instrument expires on Tuesday 17th June 2014. The investor decided that he will hold this position in a long term.

 

Since on the day of expiration, his position remains open, the system will close it automatically during last hour of the trading time. The time when the position will be eventually closed is within the last hour of trading on Tuesday 17th June, which is the end of the trading day for oil.

 

The investor wants to continue in trading with this commodity and therefore intends to open a new position. The earliest time for opening a new position is at the beginning of the new trading day - for oil this is after the midnight, on Wednesday 18th June 2014.

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