Commodities Trading - Managing Risk with Order Types

Just as with the stock market, you can do a lot to mitigate the risks on entering and exiting a position with the smart use of different order types. Here is a look at several different order entry types that will limit the potential of the market or the market maker to move against you.

The most basic knowledge needed is that of the different kinds of orders that can be executed: Market, Limit, Stop and their variations.

Market

Market orders are the simplest, the one with which everyone is familiar. An order is placed and the broker attempts to fill it at whatever is the going price. Even with such loose requirements, there’s no guarantee the trade will get executed quickly.

When liquidity is very low, some orders may wait a considerable time, even to the next day. The commodities and futures markets, though, are huge and active. Market orders generally are filled within minutes, if not seconds.

There are several variations on market orders, including MOC (Market On Close), MOO (Market On Opening), MIT (Market If Touched) and others.

Much as the names suggest, market on opening is an order to execute at the best possible price during opening, and similarly for a market on close order, at closing.

Market If Touched orders are similar to limit orders (see below). In this case, though, orders are filled if the price is reached and continue to be filled even when the price moves away from the limit.

Limit

The next simplest type, limit orders are a request to buy or sell at a designated price. Typically, buy orders are placed below the current market price and sell orders above.

Depending on the designated price, and general market conditions, the order may not get filled. Even if the market reaches the limit price, there are thousands of trades executing every second. Yours may or may not get executed.

Stop

Stop orders, short for ’stop loss’ are used to limit potential losses on a long or short position. A buy stop order is typically requested for an above market price, sell stop orders below market. Once the stop order price is reached, it becomes a market order and is executed accordingly.

There are a few variations: stop limit, stop close and others.

Stop limit orders list two prices. One price is listed just as an ordinary stop order, the second in the form of a limit price. Once the stop is reached, the limit requirement is effectively cancelled.

Stop close orders are used only near the close of trading. The order is attempted to be executed only if the market reaches the stop price at this time. Since commodity markets are typically volatile, this can protect traders from intraday fluctuations.

OCO (One Cancels The Other)

This is actually a combination of two orders in one. The order requests that floor traders attempt to fill it until one side or the other is executed.

Fill Or Kill

In this scenario, the floor broker will bid or offer up to three times at a specified price. If no suitable trade is available the order is cancelled.

In every case, brokers are obligated to obtain the best possible price for their clients, but can never guarantee a trade at any given price. The market is so active and liquid, though, that the overwhelming majority of orders are executed at or very near the designated time or price.

Filed under Trading Commodities

Disclaimer: This material is for your private information. We are not soliciting any action based upon it. Opinions expressed are present opinions only. The material is based upon information considered reliable, but we do not represent that is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such. We, or persons involved in the preparation or issuance of this material may, from time to time, have long or short positions in, and buy or sell the securities or options of companies mentioned herein.
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