Short Futures Position

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Short Futures Position

The short futures position is an unlimited profit, unlimited risk position that can be entered by the futures speculator to profit from a fall in the price of the underlying.

The short futures position is also used by a producer to lock in a price of a commodity that he is going to sell in the future. See short hedge.

Short Futures Position Construction
Sell 1 Futures Contract

To create a short futures position, the trader must have enough balance in his account to meet the initial margin requirement for each futures contract he wishes to sell.

Unlimited Profit Potential

There is no maximum profit for the short futures position. The futures trader stands to profit as long as the underlying asset price goes down.

The formula for calculating profit is given below:

  • Maximum Profit = Unlimited
  • Profit Achieved When Market Price of Futures

Unlimited Risk

Heavy losses can occur for the short futures position if the underlying asset price rises dramatically.

The formula for calculating loss is given below:

  • Maximum Loss = Unlimited
  • Loss Occurs When Market Price of Futures > Selling Price of Futures
  • Loss = (Market Price of Futures – Selling Price of Futures) x Contract Size + Commissions Paid

Breakeven Point(s)

The underlier price at which break-even is achieved for the short futures position position can be calculated using the following formula.

  • Breakeven Point = Selling Price of Futures Contract

Example

Suppose June Crude Oil futures is trading at $40 and each futures contract covers 1000 barrels of Crude Oil. A futures trader enters a short futures position by selling 1 contract of June Crude Oil futures at $40 a barrel.

Scenario #1: June Crude Oil futures drops to $30

If June Crude Oil futures is trading at $30 on delivery date, then the short futures position will gain $10 per barrel. Since the contract size for Crude Oil futures is 1000 barrels, the trader will net a profit of $10 x 1000 = $10000.

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Scenario #2: June Crude Oil futures rises to $50

If June Crude Oil futures instead rallies to $50 on delivery date, then the short futures position will suffer a loss of $10 x 1000 barrel = $10000 in value.

Daily Mark-to-Market & Margin Requirement

The value of a short futures position is marked-to-market daily. Gains are credited and losses are debited from the future trader’s account at the end of each trading day.

If the losses result in margin account balance falling below the required maintenance level, a margin call will be issued by the broker to the futures trader to top up his or her account in order for the futures position to remain open.

Synthetic Short Futures

An equivalent position known as a synthetic short futures position can be constructed using only options.

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Short (Short Position)

What is a Short (or Short Position)

A short, or a short position, is created when a trader sells a security first with the intention of repurchasing it or covering it later at a lower price. A trader may decide to short a security when she believes that the price of that security is likely to decrease in the near future. There are two types of short positions: naked and covered. A naked short is when a trader sells a security without having possession of it. However, that practice is illegal in the U.S. for equities. A covered short is when a trader borrows the shares from a stock loan department; in return, the trader pays a borrow-rate during the time the short position is in place.

In the futures or foreign exchange markets, short positions can be created at any time.

Future-Short-Position

entsteht durch den Verkauf eines Future-Kontrakts. Der Verkäufer eines Future-Kontrakts verpflichtet sich, am Liefer- bzw. Erfüllungstag den Basiswert zu einem im voraus vereinbarten Preis (Kurs) zu liefern. Dabei erwartet der Verkäufer einen fallenden Kurs (Preis) des Basiswerts während der Kontraktlaufzeit. Die Höhe des aus einer Future-Short-Position resultierenden Gewinns hängt davon ab, in welchem Umfang der Future-Kontrakt zum Zeitpunkt der Glattstellung bzw. bei Fälligkeit unter dem Einstandspreis (-kurs) notiert. Damit ist mit einer Future-Short-Position eine theoretisch sehr hohe Ertragsmöglichkeit verbunden. Das mit der Lieferverpflichtung verbundene hohe Verlustrisiko kann der Inhaber einer Future-Short-Position nur dadurch ausräumen, indem er eine entsprechende Future-Long-Position (d. h., selber Basiswert, gleiche Fälligkeit) eingeht.

Vorhergehender Fachbegriff: Future-Markt | Nächster Fachbegriff: Futures

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