A market in which futures contracts are transacted. A number of futures exchanges exist overseas for trading in physical commodity futures, eg. wheat, cotton, sugar, as well as financial futures. In Australia, the Sydney Futures Exchange has operated since 1960, dealing firstly in wool futures, then gold and other commodities including live cattle and finally moving into financial futures in the late 1970s after overcoming Commonwealth Treasury objections.
Traded contracts specifying a future date of delivery or receipt of a specific product or asset. The assets include agricultural products like, pork bellies and oranges; metal; and financial instruments and indices. They are used by firms to hedge against potentially unfavorable price changes, and by speculators who hope to benefit from betting on the direction or magnitude of change.