Futures Chains

Last modified 21:01, 2 Nov 2012

Futures Chains work page

tolbutn_futs4xfutchain.gifFutures Chains are tables showing all futures contracts derived from the same commodity or security traded on the same exchange.

All contracts in a Futures Chain will share the same contract specifications, be traded on the same exchange, and share a common identifying portion of their code.

Each will differ from the other contracts in the Futures Chain by its expiration date. This date will be indicated by a letter added to the code.

The Futures Chain table allows traders to retrieve each futures chain, and then quickly display details for each contract in the chain.

Underlying Groupings

The underlying types of commodities or instruments are arranged into tabbed pages, each containing a group of commodities or instruments.


Commodities are grouped into Energies, Grains, Meats, Metals and Softs (including for example wool, coffee, cotton, cocoa, orange juice, etc.).

Financial Instruments

Futures contracts whose underlying assets are financial instruments are grouped into Stock and Commodity Indices, Currencies, Financials (including for example futures based on Bonds, Bank Bills, Treasury Notes, etc.) and Individual Share Futures.

Full List

Alternatively, the Full List of all futures contracts can also be viewed on one tabbed page.

Select the Full List tab at the top left of the work page.

Front Month Contracts Table

Select a commodity or financial instruments group tab and the Front Month Contracts table in the upper portion of the work page will be populated with details of each next-to-expire contract (i.e. the Front Month Contract) for each Futures Chain of a particular contract type.

For each Front Month Contract its Symbol, Description and expiration Month will be displayed, as well as its most current price and trading data.

Each Front Month contract type is part of a Futures Chain containing all the current futures contracts for that particular type of commodity or financial instrument.

To view the entire Futures Chain for each type of contract, select the Front Month Contract for the futures contract type from the list in the Front Month Contracts table.

Single right mouse click to view its entire Futures Chain in the Open Contracts Table in the bottom portion of the work page, see next.

Open Contracts Table

Select a contract from the Front Month Contract table and single-left mouse-click.

The futures chain of which the selected front month contract is a member will be displayed in the Open Contracts table in the bottom half of the work page.

Initially the Front Month Contract will be the first contract of each futures chain listed in the table.

Sort Rows

The order of display for the futures contracts in the table can be changed by single-left mouse-clicking the column heading:

Sort Ascending Sort Descending

A small light blue triangle will appear in heading that are used to sort the table.

Action Menu

Click the Action button to open the Action menu:

Actions for Symbol

The Actions for “Symbol” submenu will be populated with commands specific to the currently selected contract.

Contracts may be selected in either the Front Month Contract table or the Open Contracts table.

Futures Research

Click the Futures Research command to open the Futures Research work page in the same tab as the current Futures Chain tabbed page. For example, a user selecting a Pork Bellies contract on the Meats tabbed page of the Futures Chain work page, will open the Meats tabbed page in the Futures Research work page when this command is selected. News, price data and other information relating to the Meats commodity grouping can be accessed from this work page.

For more information, go to the Futures Research topic.

Price Chart

Click the Price Chart command to plot the data of the selected futures contract in a price chart.

The default template will be applied to the chart.

Price Data

Click the Price Data command to open the selected futures contract’s price data in the Price Data work page.

All currently downloaded data will be displayed in the Price Data table.


Click the Information command to view the selected futures contract’s details in its Detailed Symbol Information dialog.

The dialog box also contains a Futures Specs button.

Click this button to open the Detailed Futures Information dialog for the selected contract:

The full specifications for the futures contracts are displayed in the specifications dialog.

Option Chain

Click this command to open the Option Chain work page containing details of all options contracts that exist for the selected futures contract.

If no Options Contracts exist for the selected futures contract, a message advising that no options contracts are available will appear.

Popup Menu

The Popup menu contains the same commands as the Actions for “Symbol” submenu of the Action menu:

To open the Popup menu, roll the cursor over a futures contract and single-right mouse-click.

Futures Chains Display Settings

The type of futures contracts displayed in the Open Contracts table in the bottom half of the Futures Chains work page can be controlled by the user.

Click the Action menu's Settings command to open the Future Chains Settings dialog box:



When checked, the contracts specific to the designated Trading Session, or Continuous Contract type, will be included in the Open Contracts table for each options chain.

Trading Sessions

Some futures contracts are trading in separate day and night sessions and are quoted separately (e.g. different symbols). Other contracts are trading in full daily sessions.


Check this to see only futures traded in day trading sessions.

Each contract will have the word (Day) inserted in its description to indicate its trading session:


Check this to see only futures traded in day trading sessions.

Each contract will have the word (Night) inserted in its description to indicate its trading session.

Full Session

Check this to see futures traded in only one daily trading session, and to see the combined daily results for futures that are traded in both day and night sessions.

Where day and night sessions are combined, the closing price of the day session will be the close price for the combined quote and the opening price of the night session will be the opening price. The high and low of the combined session can occur in either trading session.

Continuous Contracts

A continuous contract is where futures contracts are joined together according to a simple set of rules. This allows traders to view historical data for a commodity and identify long term trends that may not be visible when viewing single contracts in isolation.

Continuous futures contracts are created for use with long-term technical analysis. The HUBB Server creates them at the end of each trading session.

A suffix, either Cash, Spot1, SpotV or Gann, designates a type of continuous contract:


A cash contract in many cases cannot actually be bought or sold but rather is the item that the futures contract is based upon.

For example, the Cash item for the Share Price Index (SPI) traded on the Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE) is the All Ordinaries indices from the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).


This is a continuous contract that displays the values of open, high, low and close for the current futures contract and a combined volume open interest of all traded contracts for that period.

The contract rolls over (or moves from one contract to the next) based on contract expiry.


This is a continuous contract that is calculated to display the values of open, high, low, close, volume and open interest that rolls over (or moves from one contract to the next) based on highest traded volume.


Gann contracts are calculated on monthly contracts for a futures contract.

A December Gann contract is calculated by displaying the current value of the most current December contract for each date selected. This contract rolls over (or moves from one monthly (December) contract to the next) based on contract expiry. The current contract for 1 January 2000 used is the December 2000 contract. When this contract physically expires we begin to add values from the December 2001 contract.

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