Commodity Trading

Note: This is the page of the 2011 class and provided for archival purposes only.

The current pages can be found in OLAT.

Dozent: PD Dr. Mosi Mresse, Dr. Jacques Piasko
Anrechnungspunkte (ECTS): 3
Hörsaal: KOL-G-203
Zeit: Montag, 8-10 Uhr


The word trading is used as an umbrella term for paper trading, i.e. the
trading with shares, bonds and the like and commodity trading, the
trading with all sorts of physical commodities. Trading is connected
with a certain aura, something mysterious because little is known about
it. Most of the classic commodity-trading companies are rather shy, some
even don't have a web site. Most of the education for trading has been
done by the trading companies “on the job”.
Trading fulfills, however, an extremely important and often highly
complex function for the economy as a whole. The properly functioning
trading is a precaution for many processes in the industry to run
smoothly. As generic term trading starts with the deep understanding of
the various markets (their functioning and interdependence), the
matchmaking process between partners, the KYC-process (“know your
counterparty”) and the risk assessment. Trading encompasses further
activities like the issue of pricing and pricing periods, negotiation of
contracts, trade-finance and the execution of a contract (traffic),
valuation of the position (mark to market), until the liquidation of the
It's the goal of this lecture to show the complexity and the beauty of
some of the activities mentioned above on the basis of some selected
commodities. Special attention is given to the commodity “electric
energy”. Electric energy is one of the few commodities that Switzerland
produces. Due to its central location, Switzerland is also used as an
important transit country for electric current. Switzerland is placed
right in the middle of the European grid.
Physical and financial aspects of modern trading will be discussed in
our lecture as well as the technical basis that enables it. Topics like
the necessary IT infrastructure, including communication, networking,
price-feeds, specialized trading programs will be mentioned with special
regards to the challenge of 24/7 trading, as nowadays requested.



Trading Game

The game starts on saturday 5, 2011, 1pm and the first round closes on Sun 9pm. We will provide the link to the platform here! Do not send any email with trades to Patrick Minder until then (we will try to play the game over a web platform)!!!


Goal:  Come close to a trading experience

Target for each student:
1. Positive Performance
2. Be Among best performers

Summary: Every Student has a virtual Million Dollar. With this, he is supposed to perform, more than his capital charges. He has every week the choice of to buy and sell selected instruments at the given trading hours and at the trading prices.

Trading hour / prices / procedure: Every week until Sun 9 pm each student sends his order to the administrator through a webinterface. The prices relevant are the Friday closing prices at the exchanges no bid ask spreads applied. The administrator executes virtually the trades and presents the results Monday morning. Student are to keep themselves informed about trades.

Capital Charge: Each student pays each week $3000 as Capital charge and Cost allocation which will be deducted from his account.

Limits: Students cannot exceed limits, order leading to limit exceeds will be cancelled. Limits are subject to change.

Selected Commodities:

1.     WTI Oil,

2.     Brent Oil,

3.     Copper  

4.     Aluminum

5.     EEX German Power

6.     EUA EU Emission Certificates

7.     Gold                     

8.     Platinum              

9.     Corn

10.  EUR / USD (for hedging reasons – no limitation so far)


The platform for the game is online. The next round starts March 5, 11.59am... Good luck!!!

After the registration you can also use: link 










slides 01



Lecture 2

slides 02

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slides 03 



Student lectures





Lecture 5

slides 05


Two state options



Student Lectures










CTCommodity Trading


Student Lecture WTI



Slides Jacques