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Binary Options Contract Specifications on NADEX

NadaxNADEX is the North American Derivatives Exchange, which is the first exchange of its kind where participating members can trade binary options without the intervention of a broker. It is thus the first direct market access online binary options exchange.

NADEX is presently open only to traders with a social security number or a US Tax ID, effectively limiting participation to US permanent residents or US citizens. Questions have been asked by traders in several quarters concerning how trades are performed on NADEX and what the contract specifications are. This article will be a good source for this information. NADEX is regulated by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), guaranteeing a level of consumer protection on NADEX.

What is Traded on NADEX?

Several asset classes are traded on NADEX. These asset classes along with the specific traded assets are listed below:

  1. Commodities

    The following commodities are traded on NADEX:

    • Silver, traded as a COMEX contract
    • Gold, traded as a combined COMEX/NYMEX contract
    • Copper
    • Soybean, traded as a CBOT futures contract
    • Corn
    • Natural Gas, traded as a NYMEX contract
    • Crude oil, traded as a NYMEX contract

    The only contracts available for the CBOT Soybean Futures are the daily and weekly contracts. The daily contracts expire at 2.15pm. On Mondays, trades can commence as from 3am and end at 2.15pm, and then re-commence at 6pm on Monday to end at 2.15pm the next day. This cycle of trades commencing at 6pm to end at 2.15pm the next day will continue until Friday. For the weekly contract, trades commence on Monday from 3am to 5pm, and then from 6pm to 5pm on Thursday. On Thursday, trades re-commence from 6pm to end for the week at 2.15pm on Friday.

    The Corn Future has no intraday contracts. Infact the only difference between the Corn and Soybean contracts is that the first daily contract trade ends at 1pm and not at 2.15pm.

    The COMEX Silver contract has 4 intraday expiry times, at hourly intervals from 10am to 1pm, with trading in these contracts lasting for just 2 hours. The daily contract trades start on Monday at 3am to end at 1.25pm, then re-commence at 6pm to end at 1.25pm the next day. Trades will then commence once more at 6pm to end at 1.25pm in this manner until Friday. For the weekly contracts, trades commence from 3am to 5pm on Monday, and again from 6pm on Monday to 5pm on Thursday. Trading then re-opens at 6pm and lasts until the weekly expiry time of 1.25pm on Friday.

    The COMEX/NYMEX Gold Futures comes with an intraday contract with expiry times and trading hours similar to that of the silver futures. The trading hours and expiry times are also nearly similar, with the only difference being that the expiration times are 1.30pm and not 1.25pm as is the case with the silver futures.

    The Copper Futures shares the same daily and weekly contract specifications as the Corn contract, but has the distinction of also having intraday contracts which have 4 expiry times on an hourly basis starting from 10am to 1pm. Trades on these intraday contracts commence two hours prior to expiration time.

    The NYMEX Natural Gas Futures shares the same intraday contract specifications with the silver and gold contracts. The daily contract trading time starts on Monday from 3am to 2.30pm, and resumes again on Monday by 6pm to 2.30pm the next day. This cycle repeats itself daily until the final expiry for the week at 2.30pm on Friday. The weekly contract starts at 3am and ends at 5pm on Monday, resumes on Monday 6pm and ends on Thursday 5pm. The next session resumes 6pm on Thursday to end for the week at 2.30pm on Friday.

  2. Stock Indices

    The stock indices traded on NADEX are:

    • CBOT E-mini Dow Futures (US)
    • ICE Mini Russell Futures
    • EUREX DAX Index Futures
    • Kospi 200 Futures (South Korea)
    • LIFFE FTSE100 Index Futures (London, UK)
    • NGX NIFTY Index Futures
    • SGX Nikkei 225 Index Futures (Tokyo, Japan)
    • CME E-mini S&P500 Index Futures (US)

    Due to the fact that stock indices track the performance of stock exchanges from around the world, there will be differences in the contract specifications from one stock index to the other. This is in contrast with forex binary options contracts which are traded globally and so we see the same conditions applying from one currency to the other.

    The CBOT E-Mini Dow Futures is the binary options contract offered by the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) on the NADEX platform. This is not the full contract size but rather just half of the contract size, hence the term “E-mini”. There are 7 expiration times for the intraday contract: 10am, 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Trades last two hours, and so can only commence two hours before a chosen expiry time. There are 3 strike prices for each contract. The daily contract has an expiry set at 4.15pm. The trading hours extends from 3am to 4.15pm on Monday, and then from 6pm on Monday to 4.15pm on Friday. There are 21 strikes for the daily contract on the CBOT E-mini Index Futures. The weekly contract expires at 4.15pm on Friday. With 7 strikes, there are two trading times for the weekly contract: 8pm to 2.05am from Monday to Friday, and 6pm to 4.15pm on Thursday to Friday.

    The same contract specifications listed above for the CBOT E-mini Index Futures also hold for the CME E-mini S&P Index 500 Futures contracts. The contract specifications for the Intraday and Daily expiries of the ICE Mini Russell Futures are also the same as for the CBOT E-mini Index Futures and CME E-mini S&P Index 500 Futures. However, there are some differences in the trading hours for the weekly contract of the ICE Mini Russell Futures. The first trading time is on Mondays from 3am to 5pm, then from 6pm to 5pm the next day, starting from Monday to Thursday. The last trading time then commences from Thursday 6pm to 4.15pm on Friday.

    For the EUREX DAX Index Futures and the LIFFE FTSE 100 Index Futures, we have the Intraday expiry contract bearing the same contract specifications as the three previously mentioned stock indices. However, there are changes when it comes to the daily and weekly expiry contracts. For the daily expiry trade, there are two trading times. First, trades can be placed from 3am to 4pm on Monday, and thereafter from 6pm same day to 4pm the next day. This cycle operates from Monday to Friday. For the weekly expiry contract, trades commence on Monday from 3am to 5pm, then from 6pm to 5pm next day, Monday to Thursday. From Thursday, trades commence at the usual time of 6pm but end earlier on Friday at 4pm.

    The KOSPI 200 is the stock exchange of South Korea, and this is measured by the index of the same name. There are no intraday contracts, but the daily contracts expire at 2.05 am Monday to Friday. This leaves the daily trading times to start at 8pm on Sunday, and end at 2.05am the next day. This cycle is maintained from Sunday to Friday. The weekly contract can be traded from 8pm to 2.05am, Monday to Friday, leaving the expiry time for the weekly contract at 2.05am on Friday.

    The NIFTY Index has no intraday contracts. The daily contracts expire at 6am, Monday to Friday while the weekly contract expires on Friday at 6am. For the daily contracts, trades are conducted on Monday between 12.30am and 6am, and between 6pm on Monday to 1.30pm next day, Monday to Friday. The weekly contract is traded from 12.30am to 6am, Monday to Friday.

    The SGX Nikkei 225 Index Futures have no intraday contracts. Trades on the daily contracts start at 7.45pm on Sunday and end at 2.25am next day, running this way from Sunday to Friday. This puts the daily expiry time at 2.25am. For the weekly contract, the trade starts at 7.45pm on Monday and stays open till 2.25am on Friday.

  3. Currencies

    The currency contracts traded on NADEX include the EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY, EURJPY, USDCAD, USDCHF and AUDUSD. The contracts have 3 expiry times: intraday, daily and weekly. There are six intraday expiry times: 10am, 11am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 2pm and 3pm. Traders can only open trades for two hours. Intraday forex binary options contracts on NADEX come with three strike prices.

    The daily expiry trades on forex binary options have a single expiry time which is at 3pm EST. There is a 105-minute window for traders to take preliminary trades on Mondays between 3pm EST and 4.15pm EST, and after then, the trading hours remain open from 6pm EST on Monday to 3pm EST on Friday of the same week. Twenty-one strike prices exist from which the trader can choose from when setting trades.

    The weekly expiry trades always expire at 3pm on Friday, and trades are allowed as from 3am EST on Monday to 5pm EST on Friday of the same week.

  4. Special Contracts

    Special contracts also exist on the NADEX platform. These basically ‘news trades‘ and include the following:

    • EURsystem Main Refi Rate
    • The FOMC Targeted Fed Funds Rate
    • Jobless Claims news release
    • Non-farm Payroll report

    The NFP is usually released at 8.15am on the first Friday of the new month. The expiration for this trade is 8.25am EST, which is about 10 minutes after the release. The contracts used in trading this news report can however be traded on Monday between 3am and 5pm, then from 6pm on Monday to 5pm the next day, with the cycle repeating itself  until 5pm on Thursday. The next trade starts at 6pm on Thursday and ends at 4.15pm on Friday. These contracts can be traded for the duration of the month prior to the NFP release.

    The FOMC Targeted Fed Fund Rate is also traded with the same trading hours as the NFP. The expiration is set to 5pm on the day before the commencement of the FOMC meeting.

    The Jobless Claims report is a weekly news release. Therefore contracts last a week and generally expire at 8.25am on the day of the release. The same trading hours that are used for the NFP are also used to trade this contract. The EURsystem Main Refinance rate is also traded according to the same guidelines as the Jobless Claims report, with the expiry time and trading hours being the same.


The reason why traders who are interested in trading binary options on NADEX should know the contract specifications is that it allows them to work out the trading times for each contract. Commodities are usually traded with 2 trading times per day according to the time schedule of the Open Outcry system on the floor of the exchanges, as well as the trading times of the electronic commodity exchanges. Knowledge of some of these subtle differences will help traders know how to apportion time schedules to the contracts they are interested in trading.

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