Spread trading: Hedging and arbitrage opportunities in futures

Spread trading is a method of trading in Singapore involving taking long and short positions in two or more related markets to capitalise on short-term price discrepancies. Traders typically use it to hedge existing positions, capture arbitrage opportunities, or take advantage of the price movements between the different markets.

Different types of spread trading?

Spread trading often uses futures contracts, which are agreements to buy or sell a particular financial instrument, like a commodity, stock, currency pair, or index, at a specific future date and price. Purchasing and selling these types of instruments simultaneously helps traders reduce their risk exposure while taking advantageof any pricing differences that may arise between them. This futures trading strategy allows investors to benefit from market movements without taking significant positions in individual markets.

One of the most prevalent types of spread trading is pairing different futures contracts. For example, a trader may purchase a December corn futures contract and sell an April corn futures contract to benefit from any potential price discrepancies between the two. If the December contract rises faster than the April contract, the trader will end up making a profit. Similarly, if the December contract falls faster than the April one, they can still make money by closing their position at a lower cost and exiting before losses become too great.

In addition to this type of spread trading, there are also hedging and arbitrage opportunities that traders can take advantage of in different financial markets. Hedging involves spreading trades to reduce risk by offsetting potential losses with gains in other markets. For example, a trader may purchase a December corn futures contract and sell a January soybean futures contract to protect themselves from the market’s volatility.

Arbitrage opportunities are another popular way of benefiting from spread trading. This strategy involves exploiting pricing discrepancies between different financial instruments or markets. It can be done by simultaneously buying in one market and selling in another at a higher price, thus taking advantage of any short-term mispricing between them.

Why do more Singaporean futures traders use a broker?

Singapore is a prime destination for futures traders due to its regulatory environment, competitive infrastructure, and low taxes. As such, more Singaporean futures traders use a broker when entering the market. A broker in Singapore is an individual or firm that acts as the intermediary between buyers and sellers to facilitate trading activities within the financial markets. Using a broker gives Singaporean traders access to better pricing information, more liquidity and lower transaction costs than they would have if they traded independently.

Using a broker also gives Singaporean futures traders the advantage of having someone knowledgeable about the markets who can provide professional advice on what trades to make and when. It reduces the risk of inexperienced traders making costly mistakes due to a lack of industry knowledge. Brokers also provide access to advanced trading tools and platforms that give their clients greater control over managing their investments.

Another key benefit for Singaporean traders is taking advantage of global opportunities available only with a broker’s assistance. By leveraging their expertise in global financial markets, brokers can help clients spot arbitrage opportunities across various exchanges worldwide. It allows Singaporean traders to diversify their portfolio with international investments and capitalise on short-term price discrepancies between markets that may be too risky or difficult for individual investors to manage independently.

Brokers can also provide access to margin accounts, allowing Singapore traders to leverage existing funds by borrowing additional capital from the broker at preferential rates. It enables them to open more prominent positions, increasing potential returns while reducing capital investment requirements relative to individual trading accounts.

For these reasons, more Singaporean futures traders opt for the services provided by experienced brokers who can provide invaluable advice and access resources that would otherwise be unavailable outside brokerage firms.


Spread trading is a complex yet potentially lucrative strategy which takes long and short positions in two or more related markets. It can hedge existing positions, capture arbitrage opportunities, or exploit market price movements. Singaporean futures traders often opt to use brokers to access better pricing information, advanced trading tools and platforms, professional advice, and global investment opportunities that they might not have otherwise. For these reasons, using an experienced broker is often advantageous for Singaporean futures traders looking to capitalise on spread trading strategies.


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