Options and Futures
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Options and futures are the terms used vividly in Stock Market and in the subject of Derivatives.
Options give the right to sell or buy the underlying asset but not by obligation.
A call option gives the right to buy the underlying asset while a put option gives the right to sell it.
An option contract specifies the strike price, that is, the price at which you can buy or sell the underlying asset and the expiry date after which the option is no longer valid. In other words the expiry is the last day on which the contract expires or ends.
Futures are standardized, tradable contract, which requires the delivery of the underlying asset (commodity and stock, etc) at a specified date and specified price.
Unlike options future contract puts you in the obligation to buy the underlying assets and thus puts you at a greater risk. Commodities like gold, crude oil and cotton are one of the prominent in futures. Futures can be settled in three ways: squaring off, delivery and cash settlement.
Squaring off means taking an opposite your initial one. For example, you square off the purchase of a gold futures contract by selling the identical contract.
Delivery means physically delivering the underlying asset on the agreed date. If you sell gold futures contract of say 1 pound then you will have to give real gold to the buyer on the mutually agreed date.
Cash settlement involves paying the difference between the futures price and the spot price of the underlying asset. For example, if you sell a gold futures contract worth one pound for say $10,000 and the price of the contract on expiry day is $11,000 then you will have to pay the buyer the difference of $1000.
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