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Finance GlossaryFutures Contract
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Futures Contract

Definition of Futures Contract

A futures contract is a derivative instrument that is legal agreement between two parties for the mandatory purchase or sale of an underlying asset at a pre-agreed price and date.

Every futures contract contains a standard lot size on top of the agreed price and date as they are a standardized derivative traded on a stock exchange, most commonly on NSE and BSE.

The price of a futures contract is known to vary from the spot price of the same underlying asset due to factors like the cost of carry, interest rates, and more.

Related Terms

Holding Period

The holding period of a financial security is the time period between buying and selling the said security. It is the total amount of time for which the security has been held in the portfolio of an investor. At times, there’s a mandatory holding period attached to a security. During this mandatory holding period, the security can not be sold.

Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains are profits, which means they can be taxed. The rate of taxation is based on the type of asset (debt/equity) and holding period. Here is the list of ways capital gains are taxed in India:

Asset Type Gains Type Holding Period Tax Rate
Equity Short Term Capital Gains < 1 year 15%
Long Term Capital Gains > 1 year 10%
Debt Short Term Capital Gains < 3 years As per I-T slab
Long Term Capital Gains > 3 years 20%

India VIX

India VIX is an index that measures volatility and market sentiment. The term VIX stands for Volatility Index and thus, the full form of India VIX is Indian Volatility Index.

A higher India VIX means higher volatility whereas India VIX would be lower due periods of low volatility. In fact, there are absolute values that help understand volatility via India VIX.

India VIX typically moves between 15 to 30, which represents a range that is considered “normal” as far as volatility is concerned.

However, India VIX has touched 90 during the 2008 financial crisis and trended near the value once again when the pandemic broke out in 2020.

Box Spread

A box spread is a trading strategy that involves buying a bull call spread and a matching bear put spread. The components of a box spread are designed as so:

  • Bull call spread : two call options with a lower and upper strike price
  • Bear put spread : buying and selling puts at different strike prices of the same underlying asset with the same expiration

Futures and Options

Futures and options are derivative contracts that derive their value from one or more underlying financial securities like stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies, and commodities.

Every futures and options contract contains an expiration date and a price for the underlying that’s pre-agreed. Futures are a right and an obligation whereas options are a right but not an obligation to exercise the terms of the contract.

Autoregressive Model

An autoregressive model uses one or more past values to forecast the current value of an asset.

The model assumes that past values can have an impact on the current value but the number of past values it takes into account can vary.
For example, an AR(1) model will use one preceding value, an AR(2) model will use two preceding values, and so on.



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