The Top 5 Futures Markets to Watch in 2023 and Why

Futures trading is an exciting and dynamic activity that allows traders to speculate on the price movements of a wide range of assets, from commodities and currencies to stocks and indices. While many futures markets are available to traders, some markets are more popular and offer more significant opportunities than others. In this article, we will explore the top five futures markets to watch and why they are worth considering for futures trading.

What is Futures Trading?

Trading futures can be complex and challenging, but it is also an exciting and potentially lucrative way to speculate on price movements in a wide range of assets. Here are some key steps to follow when trading futures:

Educate Yourself

Before trading futures, educating yourself about the market, its mechanics, and the risks involved is essential. You can start by reading books and articles, watching videos, attending webinars or seminars, or taking online courses. You should also familiarise yourself with the different futures contracts, such as commodities, currencies, stocks, and indices.

Choose a Broker

You must open a futures trading account with a brokerage firm to trade futures. You should choose a reputable, experienced broker that offers low commissions and fees. You should also ensure the broker offers a trading platform that suits your needs, such as one that is user-friendly, reliable, and customisable.

Develop a Trading Plan

Before placing any trades, developing a trading plan that outlines your objectives, strategies, risk management rules, and exit strategies is essential. Your trading plan should be based on a thorough market analysis using fundamental and technical techniques. You should also set realistic goals and avoid over-trading or taking excessive risks.

Monitor the Market

To successfully trade futures, you must monitor the market regularly and stay up-to-date with the latest news and events. You can use news feeds, economic calendars, and technical analysis tools to track price movements and identify potential trading opportunities. You should also know market conditions that may affect your positions, such as volatility, liquidity, or seasonal trends.

Place Your Trades

Once you have identified a trading opportunity that fits your plan, you can place your trade through your broker’s platform. Depending on your market outlook, you can choose to go long (buy) or short (sell) a futures contract. You should also set your stop-loss and take-profit levels to limit risk and lock in profits.

Manage Your Positions

After placing your trades, you need to manage your positions by monitoring your open positions, adjusting your stop-loss and take-profit levels, and closing your positions when necessary. You should also avoid letting your emotions interfere with your trading decisions and stick to your trading plan and risk management rules.

In summary, trading futures requires education, research, analysis, and discipline. By following these key steps and developing a solid trading plan, you can increase your chances of success and achieve your trading goals. It is also important to remember that trading futures involves a high risk level and is unsuitable for all investors. You should always consult a professional financial advisor before making investment decisions.

Crude Oil

Crude oil is one of the most actively traded futures markets, with high liquidity and volatility. Various factors influence crude oil prices, including global supply and demand, geopolitical events, and weather patterns. This makes crude oil an attractive market for futures trading and traders looking to capitalise on short-term price movements. Additionally, crude oil is used in many industries, making it a key indicator of global economic activity.


Gold is a popular futures market due to its status as a safe-haven asset and its role as a hedge against inflation. The price of gold is influenced by a range of factors, including global economic conditions, interest rates, and currency exchange rates. This makes gold an attractive market for traders looking to diversify their portfolios and protect against economic uncertainty. Additionally, gold is widely used in the jewellery industry, making it a key indicator of consumer demand.

E-mini S&P 500

The E-mini S&P 500 is a futures market based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, a benchmark index of 500 large-cap companies listed on US stock exchanges. The E-mini S&P 500 is a popular market for traders looking to speculate on the overall direction of the US stock market. It is also an attractive market for traders looking to hedge their positions in the stock market, as it allows them to find opportunities from declines in the market.

Euro FX

The Euro FX is a futures market based on the exchange rate between the euro and the US dollar. The Euro FX is a popular market for traders looking to speculate on currency exchange rates and profit from the euro’s value changes. It is also an attractive market for traders looking to hedge their positions in the currency market, as it allows them to offset currency risk.

Lean Hogs

Lean hogs are a futures market based on the price of hog carcasses. The lean hog market is highly volatile and influenced by various factors, including global demand for pork, weather patterns, and disease outbreaks. This makes lean hogs attractive for traders looking to capitalise on short-term price movements. Additionally, lean hogs are a key indicator of global food prices and consumer demand.

Why These Markets Are Worth Watching

These five futures markets are worth watching for several reasons. They offer high liquidity and volatility, allowing traders to find opportunities quickly from short-term price movements. Additionally, they are influenced by various economic, current, and environmental factors, making them highly responsive to global events. Finally, these markets offer opportunities for traders to hedge their positions in other markets, diversify their portfolios, and protect against economic uncertainty.


In conclusion, these top five futures markets offer traders a range of profit and risk management opportunities. By watching these markets and staying informed about the latest news and events, traders can capitalise on short-term price movements and protect against economic uncertainty. As with any trading activity, traders need to do their research and develop a solid trading plan before entering these markets.