What Are Crude Oil (CL) Futures?

By NinjaTrader


WTI Light Sweet Crude Oil Futures (CL) are standardized, exchange-traded contracts which trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Each contract of the CL represents 1,000 barrels of oil, or 42,000 gallons. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil, otherwise known as Light Sweet Crude, has long been a benchmark for oil prices.

Why Trade Crude Oil Futures?

CL is a deep, liquid and volatile market, subject to swift price swings caused by geopolitical, production and weather events. Because futures contracts are traded on leverage, the CL can be a powerful way to gain exposure to the oil market with a relatively small amount of capital.

With virtually 24-hour electronic access, Light Sweet Crude Oil is an attractive investment vehicle for retail futures traders. Due to its popularity worldwide, Crude Oil is viewed as a currency and economic barometer.

NYMEX WTI Light Sweet Futures Contract Specs:

  • Exchange: New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX)
  • Class: Futures
  • Trading Symbol: CL
  • Contract Size: 1,000 barrels
  • Pricing Unit: U.S. Dollars
  • Tick Size: 0.01
  • Tick Value: $10
  • Point Value: 1 = $1000
  • Average Daily Volume: 1,342,372 (Year to Date June 2018)
  • Intraday Margin: $1000
  • Contract Months: All 12 calendar months
  • Trading Hours: Sunday to Friday 6:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET
  • Position Limit: 20 contracts

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