The asset transacted is usually a commodity or financial instrument and the transaction is usually done on the trading floor of a futures exchange. The predetermined price the parties futures options and swaps pdf to buy and sell the asset for is known as the forward price. The specified time in the future — which is when delivery and payment occur — is known as the delivery date.
Because it is a function of an underlying asset, a futures contract is a derivative product. Contracts are negotiated at futures exchanges, which act as a marketplace between buyers and sellers. The buyer of a contract is said to be long position holder, and the selling party is said to be short position holder.
As both parties risk their counter-party walking away if the price goes against them, the contract may involve both parties lodging a margin of the value of the contract with a mutually trusted third party. The first futures contracts were negotiated for agricultural commodities, and later futures contracts were negotiated for natural resources such as oil. Financial futures were introduced in 1972, and in recent decades, currency futures, interest rate futures and stock market index futures have played an increasingly large role in the overall futures markets. The original use of futures contracts was to mitigate the risk of price or exchange rate movements by allowing parties to fix prices or rates in advance for future transactions.
The Dutch pioneered several financial instruments and helped lay the foundations of modern financial system. In Europe, formal futures markets appeared in the Dutch Republic during the 17th century.
Among the most notable of these early futures contracts were the tulip futures that developed during the height of the Dutch Tulipmania in 1636. The Dōjima Rice Exchange, first established in 1697 in Osaka, is considered by some to be the first futures exchange market, to meet the needs of samurai who—being paid in rice, and after a series of bad harvests—needed a stable conversion to coin. 1864, which were called futures contracts.