Derivatives Market: Everything You Need to Know

Derivatives Market: Everything You Need to Know

The cash and derivative segments are the two primary divisions into which the Indian financial market system could be classified. Investors’ preferred section has always been the cash part. Nonetheless, during the past several years, India has seen a sharp increase in the turnover and traded value of derivatives. Here is a detailed overview of derivatives in stock market and types of derivatives market in India.

What are derivatives in stock market?

he simplified derivative meaning in stock market is that derivatives are financial contracts whose value depends on an underlying asset’s value. These are complicated financial instruments with many kinds of uses. The derivatives market gives investors special chances for portfolio diversification, speculating, and hedging, including options, swaps, futures, and forward contracts.

Futures and options are the most traded derivatives instruments in derivatives in share market in India. Options provide you the right, but not the duty, to purchase or sell the underlying asset at a later date, whereas futures give you both the right and the obligation to do so. With futures and options in the derivatives market, you may trade in four different ways:

  1. buy call
  2. buy put
  3. sell call
  4. sell put


  • 20 Lac+ unique clients
  • 33+ Years of Serving
  • Advance Technical Analysis
  • Free Demat Account

Types of Derivatives Market

Now that you know what is derivatives in stock market, let us look at their various types. India primarily has four types of derivatives market that can be easily traded on its stock exchanges. They vary from one another in terms of risk considerations, contract conditions, and other aspects. They are:

  • Future Contracts

Futures are contracts that indicate an obligation to purchase or sell a group of assets for a certain price at a future date. A forward contract is defined and regulated by the stock exchange as a standard contract. Thus, futures contracts cannot be altered in any manner since they are standardised and posted on the stock exchange.

The buyer and seller agree to enter into a deal in the futures contract like this:

    • Through the futures contract, they have established an exchange arrangement.
    • A futures contract has a standardised contract, therefore the counterparty’s risk is minimal.
    • The clearinghouse will operate as the counterparty between the two contract parties to further reduce credit risk.
  • Options Contracts

These contracts give the buyer (call option) or seller (put option) the opportunity, but not the obligation, to purchase or sell the underlying asset at a defined price within a given period.

Options contracts are well-liked because of their flexibility and risk-reduction characteristics, which enable investors to minimise adverse risks while potentially boosting rewards.

Any trader participating in the options contract has the option to adopt one of four positions: long or short positions in either call or put options. Both the over-the-counter and stock exchanges trade options derivatives in stock market.

  • Forward Contracts

An agreement between two trading parties to purchase or sell an underlying asset at a set price on a future date constitutes a forward contract. It operates the same as a futures contract, but remember that there are a few differences.

Both parties agree to purchase or sell the underlying securities at a fixed date when entering a forward contract. Because these contracts are customised to meet particular demands, the terms and size of the contract can influence the degree of risk posed by the counterparty.

Unlike futures contracts, forward contracts function on a self-regulated basis, eliminating the need for collateral. Forward derivative securities contracts in India are paid upon maturity and need to be unwound as the expiration date approaches near.

  • Swap Contracts

Swap contracts are among the most complicated of the three derivatives in share market. A swap contract is often a confidential agreement between two traders. Under the terms of the contract, both parties agree to swap their cash flow at a later date using a predefined formula.

The rate of interest or currency is the underlying asset under swap contracts since these agreements safeguard both parties from many serious risks. Since investment bankers are middlemen between these contracts, they are not traded to the Stock Exchange.


  • 20 Lac+ unique clients
  • 33+ Years of Serving
  • Advance Technical Analysis
  • Free Demat Account

Relationship Between Derivative Contracts and Stock Price

Let’s say you purchase an XYZ company’s futures contract for Rs 5,000, which is the current spot price of the company’s stock. The contract is set to expire in a month. The stock is now selling at Rs 5,500. As a result of obtaining the stocks at a lower price, you stand to gain Rs. 500 for each share.

In this case, you wouldn’t have gotten anything if the price remained unchanged. Likewise, you would have lost Rs.1000 if the stock price had dropped by Rs.1000. As you can see, the contract in question is based on the value of the underlying asset, which is XYZ company’s share.

In the same way, trading in derivatives is possible on the indexes. Nifty Futures is one of the most traded derivatives contracts in the stock markets. The 50-share Nifty index would be the underlying securities in a Nifty Futures contract.

How to Trade Derivatives Market in India?

  • Choose a Broker
    Choose an acknowledged and reputable broker with an established track record in handling derivative contracts. Ensure they offer access to exchanges where Indian derivatives are traded, such as the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
  • Open a Demat and Trading Account
    Create a trading account with your preferred broker. Verify the account and deposit a sufficient amount to begin trading. You can open a Free Demat Account from SMC Trade Online.
  • Analyse The Market
    Perform comprehensive market research and analysis, utilising basic and technical indicators to find potential trading opportunities. Stay current on domestic and global economic trends since they might affect derivative pricing.
  • Start Trading
    Pick your stocks and contracts depending on your current holdings, margin needs, underlying share price, and contract pricing. To settle the contract, you may wait until the contract’s expiration date. In this scenario, you can pay the entire outstanding balance or engage in an opposing trade.

Participants In Derivatives Markets

There are typically four major kinds of traders in derivatives markets in India, and as markets have grown, numerous institutions can engage in a combination of these activities. The four of them are:


Hedgers are stock market traders who are risk-cautious. They typically take opposite positions in derivatives compared to their underlying physical position (e.g., a merchant with an underlying lengthy physical position because of commodity assets in storage might go short in the futures market to mitigate the price risk on the stored commodity) to minimise the risk that they encounter from potential future fluctuations in prices in a market.


The main objective of derivatives traders, whether individuals or groups, is to profit from changes in market prices. Unlike hedgers who want to minimise risk, speculators voluntarily take on risk in the hope of making money.

They study economic statistics, market trends, and other variables to predict price swings and adjust their holdings effectively. Due to their ability to trade with efficiency and depth, speculators are essential to the market’s liquidity. But, their actions can potentially increase volatility and exaggerate price swings in the derivatives market.

Margin Traders

Margin traders leverage their positions by obtaining brokers’ funds to increase their trading capital. You are not obligated to pay the full amount of your position upfront when trading derivative products. Rather, you simply need to deposit a tiny portion of the entire amount, known as the margin. This is why trading derivatives in share market on margin leads to a massive leverage factor.

With margin trading, investors can take on more positions than they originally invested, increasing their potential returns. But since losses could outweigh the original investment, it also raises the danger of suffering losses. To reduce the threat of default, margin traders must comply with strict margin restrictions established by brokers and exchanges.


The current market value of the underlying asset determines the value of derivative instruments. On the other hand, there are instances where a stock’s cash market price is either higher or lower than it should be when compared to its derivatives market price.


  • 20 Lac+ unique clients
  • 33+ Years of Serving
  • Advance Technical Analysis
  • Free Demat Account

Arbitrageurs take advantage of these flaws and inefficiencies. Arbitrage is a low-risk trading strategy in which shares are simultaneously purchased in one market and correspondingly sold in another. This is carried out when two markets quote identical assets at different prices. Numerous factors, including variations in demand and supply, transaction expenses, and shortcomings in the market, give rise to chances for arbitrage.


The derivative market meaning the financial marketplace, in which contracts draw their worth from underlying assets, is really important to investors for managing risks and price discovery. One of the primary benefits of derivatives is that you do not need any particular tools or technology to begin trading them. You may start buying and selling derivatives by creating a demat and trading account in India. If you are a newbie who is just getting started with trading, it is recommended that you conduct extensive research before entering the derivatives market.

All Content is verified by SMC Global Securities.


Absolute return and Annualized Return in Mutual Fund – SMC Web Story Who Regulates Mutual Funds Industry in India? SMC Web Story Scalp Trading: Indicators and Strategies for Quick Gains-smc-web-story Understanding Scalping Indicator – SMC Web Story Forex Market Timings in India-SMC-web-story Best Insurance Stocks to Buy in 2024: SMC Web Story Best Paper Stocks to Buy in 2024 in India – SMC Web Story Best realty stocks to buy in 2024- SMC web story Top 10 Textile Stocks to Invest in 2024 in India – SMC web story Top 10 Steel Stocks to Buy in 2024 in India – SMC Web Story
Open Free Demat Account