Purchase or sale of a financial instrument on an exchange

Trades are executed by exchange participants, either on behalf of their customers or for their own account. The specific terms and conditions for executing trades (market practice) are determined individually by each exchange; in Germany, market practice has been standardized at all eight exchanges.

The settlement of trades - i. e. the delivery of the instrument or commodity in return for cash payment - is handled by a clearing and settlement organization.

One way to classify trades is on the basis of the instrument bought or sold - i. e. securities, commodities, cash, precious metals, currencies and derivatives. A further distinction is made between trades executed in the cash market, with immediate delivery, and trades executed in the forward market, with delivery ensuing at a future date.

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