What are silver futures?

Silver futures are standardized, exchange-traded contracts in which the contract buyer agrees to take delivery, from the seller, a specific quantity of silver at a predetermined price on a future delivery date. Though its use as the nation's coinage was discontinued in 1965, at the turn of the century, an even more important economic function emerged for silver: that of an industrial raw material. Today, silver is sought as a valuable and practical industrial commodity, and silver futures are seen as an appealing investment that can be traded nearly 24 hours per day, 6 days per week. The largest industrial users of silver are the photographic, jewelry, and electronic industries. Silver futures are available for trading in the COMEX Division at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

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How to trade silver futures

Silver futures contracts are offered through COMEX Division of NYMEX on the Globex® trading platform and are available to trade electronically through Schwab nearly 24 hours per day, 6 days per week. In addition to silver futures contracts, COMEX-listed gold futures (GC) and NYMEX-listed copper futures (HG) are available to trade at Schwab. An account approved to trade futures is required in order to trade silver futures. 

Silver futures contract specifications

Considering trading silver futures? Here are the silver futures contract specifications.

Exchange, Product Name, Product Code COMEX, Silver, SI
Contract Size 5,000 troy ounces
Minimum Tick Size and Value 0.05, worth $25.00 per contract.
Trading Times Silver futures trade on the Globex® trading platform from 6:00 p.m. U.S. ET until 5:00 p.m. U.S. ET, Sunday through Friday.
Principal Trading Months Primary silver futures contracts are March, May, July, September, and December. Other months also trade, but with lesser volume and open interest.

At Schwab, you also get access to advanced trading platforms and education, where you can take advantage of market research, real-time silver futures quotes, and other specialized tools. 

Gold FAQ

Silver futures contracts (SI) can be used for hedging or speculation. Companies that rely on silver for manufacturing, like those in the electronics and automobile industry, or resale (jewelry) can trade them to lock-in, or hedge, a future price for the precious metal. Similarly, speculative traders can use silver futures as a way to participate in the markets without any physical backing of the material and to express investor sentiment on the future price of silver. 

It is important to understand the benefits and risks involved with silver futures before placing a futures trade. Compared to traditional investments, with silver futures you can trade nearly 24 hours a day during the trading week and take advantage of trading opportunities regardless of market direction. Silver futures also provide the ability to trade with greater leverage and allow a more efficient use of trading capital. However, trading leveraged products like silver futures also involves the risk that losses can exceed the amount originally invested and may not be suitable for all investors. 

Futures trading at Schwab

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