Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

Spot price definition

What is the spot price?

The spot price or spot rate is the current value of an underlying asset, for which it can be bought or sold with the expectation of immediate delivery. The term ‘spot price’ is often used in commodities and forex markets.

Learn how to trade commodities

Find out how you can trade a range of commodity futures with IG.

Spot prices vs futures prices

The main difference between spot and futures prices is the time of execution and delivery. While spot prices are for immediate buying and selling, a futures contract will delay the payment and delivery to a predetermined date in the future.

The terms contango or backwardation describe the relationship between the spot price and futures price. Contango is a market condition where the futures price is currently higher than the spot price of the underlying, while backwardation means the futures price is currently trading lower than the spot price of the underlying.

While the difference between spot prices and futures prices is an important distinction in the commodities and forex markets, it is less relevant for the stock market – as physical shares are always traded at the current market price. However, spot prices and futures prices are important on stock options, equity index futures and single-stock futures.

Example of a spot price

In forex, the spot price is sometimes referred to as the spot rate, and it is the quoted exchange rate between two currencies in a forex pair. For example, if the quoted exchange rate for EUR/USD was $1.2354, then that is also the spot rate. This figure shows that you would have to spend $1.2354 in order to buy €1.00.

For an example of the spot price in the commodities market, let’s look at Brent crude. If the spot price of Brent was currently $55.00, it means that you could pay $55.00 now and receive immediate delivery of the amount of oil that you bought.

However, if you were trading on a futures price of $57.00, it means that you would be opening a contract once the price of the contract meets the futures price. For example, once the market value exceeded $57.00, you would execute the trade and receive delivery of the underlying.

Learn more about trading spot markets with us

Build your trading knowledge

Discover how to trade with IG Academy, using our series of interactive courses, webinars and seminars.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - Y

See all glossary trading terms

Help and support

Get answers about your account or our services.

Get answers

Interested in opening an account with us? Call 0800 195 3100 or send an email to newaccountenquiries.uk@ig.com.

We’re available from 8am to 6pm (UK time), Monday to Friday

Want to check on your application’s progress? Email us at newaccounts.uk@ig.com.