Types of Futures

Types of Futures

Futures contracts trade on exchanges around the world and are used by investors to speculate on or hedge against future price movements in a wide range of underlying assets. The most common types of futures contracts are financial contracts, such as interest rate futures, currency futures, and stock index futures, but there is also a large and growing market for commodity futures, including contracts for energy products, metals, and agricultural commodities. 

Financial Futures

Index contracts and interest rate (debt) contracts are two types of financial futures. Index contracts provide exposure to specific market index values, while interest rate contracts are used for exposure to the interest rate of a specific debt instrument.

  • E-Mini S&P 500
  • E-Mini Nasdaq
  • E-Mini Russell 2000
  • Mini Dow Jones
  • E-mini Mid-Cap 400
  • Micro E-minis (multiple indices)
  • Bloomberg Commodity Index
  • Nikkei 225 (CME)
  • Volatility Index
  • U.S. Treasury Bonds
  • U.S. 10-Year Notes
  • U.S. 5-Year Notes
  • U.S. 2-Year Notes
  • Eurodollars
  • Federal Funds
  • Ultra Bonds 

Currency Futures

Currency contracts provide exposure to the exchange rate of a real currency or cryptocurrency.

  • Euro
  • British Pound
  • Japanese Yen
  • Swiss Franc
  • Canadian Dollar
  • Australian Dollar
  • CME Bitcoin
  • U.S. Dollar Index
  • Brazilian Real
  • Korean Won
  • Mexican Peso
  • New Zealand Dollar
  • South African Rand
  • Swedish Krona

Energy Futures

Energy contracts provide exposure to the price of common energy products used by companies (for manufacturing, production, and/or transportation) and by governments and individuals for consumption purposes. 

  • Crude Oil
  • Natural Gas
  • Heating Oil
  • Gasoline
  • Ethanol
  • Brent Crude Oil

Metal Futures

Metal contracts provide exposure to the price of certain metals that many companies rely on as materials for manufacturing and construction (e.g., gold for computers or steel for housing). 

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Platinum
  • HRC Steel Index
  • Palladium 

Grain Futures

Grain contracts provide exposure to the prices of raw grain materials used for animal feed and for commercial processing into other products (e.g., ethanol and corn syrup), plus processed soybeans.

  • Corn
  • Soybean
  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Rough Rice
  • Soybean Oil
  • Soybean Meal

Livestock Futures

Livestock contracts provide exposure to the prices of live animals used in the supply, processing, and distribution of meat products.

  • Live Cattle
  • Feeder Cattle
  • Lean Hogs

Food & Fiber Futures

These contracts provide exposure to the prices of specific agricultural products that are grown vs. extracted or mined (also known as Softs) and the prices of dairy products.

  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa
  • Cotton
  • Orange Juice
  • Lumber
  • Milk
  • Cheese