EBF 301
Global Finance for the Earth, Energy, and Materials Industries

Summary and Final Tasks


Key Learning Points: Lesson 3

  1. The New York Mercantile Exchange is a market for crude oil, natural gas, heating oil, unleaded gasoline blend-stock, propane, platinum, and palladium.
  2. Futures are legally binding obligations that require delivering or receiving the commodity.
  3. Each contract lists commodity/price/date/location.
  4. The most important function of the Exchange is “price discovery” and transparency.
  5. Each commodity has its own delivery hub.
  6. WTI is the standard crude stream for futures contracts in crude oil.
  7. Only licensed brokers can trade on the Exchange.
  8. Trades have to be conducted with Clearing Brokers.
  9. There are two classes of market participants, “commercial,” or those interested in the physical commodity, and “non-commercial,” or “speculators.” Commercial entities use the contracts to "hedge" their price and market risk.
  10. Most trading is purely for financial gain, as only a small number of contractual obligations are fulfilled in the physical (cash) markets.

Now that we are familiar with the workings of the Exchange and futures contracts, we will walk through the cash market and its relationship to the financial market in the next lesson.

Reminder - Complete all of the Lesson 3 tasks!

You have reached the end of Lesson 3. Double-check the list of requirements on the first page of this lesson to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before beginning the next lesson.