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Difference Between Stock Market and Commodity Market

4 Mins 22 May 2023 0 COMMENT


With a plethora of investment options available today, it is becoming increasingly important to know which asset classes are worth investing in. In order to be able to invest wisely, you must know the difference between the various markets that offer multiple investment avenues. In this article, we will not only understand the stock market and commodity market but also explore the difference between the two.

Stock Market

A stock market is a marketplace where shares and other financial securities are traded by investors in a regulated environment. The companies issue shares to the public in order to raise funds. These shares are listed on stock exchanges wherein investors buy and sell these shares. In India, there are two major stock exchanges – the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

When investors own the shares of a company, it makes them a part owner of the company commensurate to the number of shares they hold. Investors can also choose to hold these shares for a long time and make gains from the appreciation in share value as the company grows and performs well in the market.

However, stock prices are volatile, which means that they keep moving up and down through the trading session. Buyers keep hunting for opportunities to buy low and sellers keep scouting opportunities to sell high to maximise their profits.

Commodity Market

A commodity market is a place where the trading of commodities such as agricultural produce, livestock, metals, energy resources, etc, takes place. These are categorised into two main types:

  1. Hard commodities: All mined items such as metals and oil fall under this umbrella.
  2. Soft commodities: All commodities with a shelf life are placed in this category, such as wheat, rice, pork, etc.

The trading of such items is enabled by the commodity market. These commodities are traded through derivatives, which are financial instruments that derive their value from their underlying assets, i.e., the commodities in the case of the commodities market. Futures contracts are the derivatives used to trade in the commodity market. These contracts are basically agreements that obligate the buyer and seller to transact on a predetermined date in the future at a predetermined price mentioned in the contract.

There are 6 commodity exchanges that operate in India:

  1. National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX)
  2. Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX)
  3. The Universal Commodity Exchange (UCX)
  4. National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE)
  5. Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX)
  6. Ace Derivatives Exchange (ACE)

Difference Between Stock Market and Commodity Market

The stock market and commodity market differ from each other on various factors like underlying assets and trading mechanisms. Let’s take a look at how the stock market vs commodity market scenario looks:

Asset Type: In a stock market, one can buy and sell financial securities like shares and bonds of companies. In the commodity market, one can trade in a variety of tangible goods, such as bullion, crude oil, cotton, corn, coffee, etc.

Investment Purpose: Shareholders in the stock market tend to benefit from the appreciation in share prices due to the performance and growth of the companies. Commodity traders are in the market to benefit from the price movement of the commodities within a given timeframe in their futures contracts. Usually, commodity traders are in it to hedge risk and protect themselves against adverse price movements.

Asset Price: The price of the securities traded in the stock market is determined by their demand and supply dynamics. The value of a company’s shares is influenced by its financial performance, management decisions, and market trends. In the commodities market, the value of commodities is mainly influenced by their demand and supply along with the factors such as geopolitical situations, weather conditions or global economic growth.

Market Hours: The stock market operates from 9:15 am to 3:30 pm, whereas the commodities market is more global and operates between 9 am to 11:30 pm, depending upon the commodity.

Risk: The risk level in the stock market is comparatively lower than the commodities market. This is because the stock market is stable and predictable in the long term, while commodities can be higher volatile due to several factors.

Market participants: The stock market participants are generally individual investors and institutional investors, such as mutual funds and hedge funds. The participants of the commodity market are more specialized traders like hedgers and speculators.

Supply: The supply of stocks in the stock market is invariably fixed unless a new listing takes place. The commodity supply, on the other hand, is not fixed and is continuously variable due to the nature of the underlying asset.

In summary, the stock market and commodity market are different financial markets that cater to different types of investors and investment strategies. While both markets offer opportunities for growth and profit, they also come with their own unique risks and challenges.

Disclaimer: ICICI Securities Ltd. (I-Sec). Registered office of I-Sec is at ICICI Securities Ltd. - ICICI Venture House, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai - 400 025, India, Tel No : 022 - 6807 7100. I-Sec is a Member of National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (Member Code :07730), BSE Ltd (Member Code :103) and Member of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (Member Code: 56250) and having SEBI registration no. INZ000183631. AMFI Regn. No.: ARN-0845. We are distributors for Mutual funds. Mutual Fund Investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully. Name of the Compliance officer (broking): Ms. Mamta Shetty, Contact number: 022-40701022, E-mail address: complianceofficer@icicisecurities.com. Investments in securities markets are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing. The contents herein above shall not be considered as an invitation or persuasion to trade or invest.  I-Sec and affiliates accept no liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any actions taken in reliance thereon. The contents herein above are solely for informational purpose and may not be used or considered as an offer document or solicitation of offer to buy or sell or subscribe for securities or other financial instruments or any other product. Investors should consult their financial advisers whether the product is suitable for them before taking any decision. The contents herein mentioned are solely for informational and educational purpose.