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Economic Homework

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Once each assignment begins, at the end of each trading day the TA will post closing – or

settlement market prices on Canvas. However you are responsible for keeping track of your own

profit/loss situation and for keeping a record of your trades and price activity. For each assignment

you will trade the specific futures contracts outlined below. Daily settlement times range across

contracts and you can find information on daily settlement times at:


This will give you experience paper trading a total of 9 different futures contracts (3 assignments

each with 3 contracts). Prior to the beginning of each assignment, your task for each

contract is to study the market and then decide whether to buy (go long) or sell (go short) before

the first daily settle price is posted.

Each student will notify the TA whether they are initially going long or short for each of the

3 contracts. This will be handled through Canvas. At the end of the 2 weeks all open positions

are closed and you determine whether you made or lost money based on how prices moved over

the 2 week interval. The TA knows your market position and will check your math in your written

assignment against the price moves over the 2 week period, for each contract and for your portfolio

of all 3 contracts combined. For each futures derivative you will only buy/sell one contract for each

assignment. This means you will hold a total of 3 contracts for each assignment. The contracts will

be entered into on the beginning assignment date and then liquidated on the ending assignment


At the end of each assignment, each student will complete and submit a one page summary

with 50 words on each contract, for a total of 150 words, explaining why the prices tracked a

certain way during the 2 weeks. In the write-up, you will be asked to show the calculations behind

what the per-contract profit or loss is for each of the contracts. As part of the write-up, you will

be required to correctly cite at least one financial news article (WSJ, Economist, Financial Times,

Internet article, etc) for each of the commodities when explaining the price movement over the 2

week period. Please do not cut and paste market commentary from these sources or

you lose points.

Here are three links

Feb 2020 CME Gold futures (code GCG20). 100 ounces.

setttle prices:…

Mar 2020 ICE Sugar World (No. 11) (code SBH20). 112,000 lbs.

settle prices:… (click on Daily settlements in bottom right)

Jan 2020 NYMEX Natural Gas (code NGF20) 10,000 MMBtu.

settle prices:…

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