Wall Street

PART 2: HISTORY OF FUTURES

Western Futures markets started trading in England during the 16th century. The first official English commodity exchange was started in 1877, called the London Metals and Market Exchange. 

 

The United States had the earliest official trading exchange in the west called the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT)  starting in 1848. The CBOT was originally created after the railroads and telegraph was laid between Chicago and New York  and other agricultural cities in the eastern U.S. One of the first futures contracts traded were the corn futures. Soon after wheat and soybeans followed and these were the three basic agricultural commodities that started the CBOT and are still trading today.  

 

Soon after the agricultural commodities caught on, commodities such as cotton became popular and in the 1870’s the NYCE or New York Cotton Exchange was created. This led to additional commodities such as cocoa, orange juice, sugar, cattle and pork futures.  

 

In the 1970’s there was a large expansion in the futures market that led to the CME or The Chicago Mercantile exchange offering futures on foreign currencies. Followed by NYMEX or The New York Mercantile Exchange offering a large range of futures contracts from, Treasury bonds, stock market indexes and many more. This all eventually led to exchanges providing futures on gold, silver and copper. 

 

To this day there are futures trading exchanges all across the world but the U.S. exchanges lead the way and still to this day remain the most popular option.