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Last Trading Day


The Last Trading Day is the final day on which a futures, options, or other derivative contract can be traded before it expires. On this day, traders must close or settle their contracts, as open positions will no longer be valid after expiration. The specific date varies depending on the type of contract and the underlying asset, but it is typically set by the exchange on which the contract is traded.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Last Trading Day” is: læst ˈtreɪdɪŋ deɪ

Key Takeaways

  1. The Last Trading Day refers to the final day on which a futures or options contract can be traded before its expiration date. After this day, the contract is no longer active, and the parties involved are obligated to settle their positions either through cash or physical delivery.
  2. Each financial instrument has its own specific last trading day depending on the market and contract specifications. It is important for traders and investors to be aware of these dates to manage their positions and avoid any unwanted risks associated with holding expired contracts.
  3. The last trading day can influence market volatility, prices, and trading strategies. Market participants may need to adjust their positions ahead of the last trading day, which can result in changes in the levels of supply and demand. This, in turn, may create opportunities or challenges for traders and investors to exploit or navigate.


The Last Trading Day is a crucial term in business and finance as it signifies the final day on which a specific futures or options contract can be traded before the expiration date. This deadline holds significant importance for investors and traders, as they must either close out their positions, exercise the options, or roll them over to the next available contract to avoid the settlement and delivery process. In essence, the Last Trading Day serves as a built-in risk management mechanism, allowing participants to reassess their portfolios, mitigate potential losses, and strategize their future investments accordingly. Overall, understanding this term enables market participants to make informed decisions while navigating the dynamic financial landscape.


The Last Trading Day primarily serves as a crucial reference point for various stakeholders participating in the financial markets – traders, investors, and market makers alike. It is the final day on which a futures or options contract can be traded before its expiration, marking the settlement of the contract and the transfer of the underlying asset or its cash equivalent. The purpose of the Last Trading Day is to establish a definite timeline for the fulfillment of contractual obligations, allowing both buyers and sellers to manage risk exposure, allocate resources effectively, and strategize their decision-making processes. As financial instruments such as futures and options are used for purposes like hedging, speculation, or arbitrage, being mindful of the Last Trading Day ensures that contractual obligations are efficiently navigated and aligned with each party’s objectives. Moreover, the Last Trading Day stimulates the financial markets by fostering liquidity, price discovery, and risk transference. On this day, market participants typically assess the financial health of the instrument, inspect its profit or loss positions, and decide whether to let the contract expire or roll it forward into the next contract period. Price movements on the Last Trading Day are likely to be influenced by a myriad of factors including but not limited to economic forecasts, supply-demand dynamics, and investor sentiment. By recognizing the Last Trading Day, market participants are better equipped to monitor their trading activities, manage risk exposures, and adjust investment strategies accordingly, thereby contributing to the overall efficiency and resiliency of the financial markets.


The Last Trading Day refers to the final day that a futures or options contract can be traded before the expiration date or settlement. 1. Crude Oil Futures (NYMEX): Crude oil futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) have their own specific Last Trading Day. For example, if the expiration date for a particular futures contract is on January 20, 2022, the Last Trading Day would typically be the trading day before the expiration, which would be January 19, 2022. Traders must close or roll over their positions before the end of this day to avoid physical delivery of the commodity. 2. EU Carbon Emissions Allowances (EUA) Futures: EUA Futures traded on the European Energy Exchange (EEX) have their own unique Last Trading Day schedule. Each contract is tied to a compliance year, and the Last Trading Day falls two trading days before the end of the second business day in April of the following year. For example, for the compliance year ending December 31, 2021, the Last Trading Day for EUA Futures would occur during the first week of April 2022. 3. S&P 500 Index Options: These options are tied to the S&P 500 Index and are traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). The Last Trading Day for standard monthly options contracts is generally the third Friday of the expiration month. For example, if the expiration date for an S&P 500 Index option contract is on February 18, 2022, the Last Trading Day would be the same day, February 18th. However, for weekly options, the Last Trading Day would be the Friday of the expiration week. Traders need to close or adjust their positions by the end of the Last Trading Day to avoid settlement obligations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Last Trading Day?
The Last Trading Day is the final day on which a futures, options, or other derivative contracts can be traded before its expiration date. After this day, the contract will be closed, and any outstanding obligations must be settled by the parties involved.
Why is the Last Trading Day important?
The Last Trading Day is crucial because it signifies the end of an investment or trading opportunity in a specific financial instrument. It is essential for traders and investors to be aware of this date to manage their portfolios effectively and avoid potential losses or penalties.
How do I determine the Last Trading Day for a specific contract?
The Last Trading Day for a particular financial instrument can typically be found in the contract specifications provided by the exchange on which it is traded. You can also consult trading platforms, financial news sources, or professional advisers for this information.
What happens after the Last Trading Day?
After the Last Trading Day, any remaining open positions in the contract are subject to the settlement process. This could result in physical delivery of the underlying asset for futures contracts or cash settlement for options and other derivatives. In some cases, outstanding contracts may be rolled over into new contracts with later expiration dates.
Can I trade a futures or options contract after the Last Trading Day?
No, after the Last Trading Day, trading in the contract is no longer allowed. If you still hold an open position, you must either settle your obligation or have it rolled over, if applicable, before the expiration date.
Are there any penalties or fees associated with holding contracts past their Last Trading Day?
Depending on the specific contract and the exchange it is traded on, there can be penalties or additional fees for holding a position past the Last Trading Day. It’s essential to be familiar with a contract’s terms and conditions to avoid unexpected costs or settlement-related issues.

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