I've traded spot forex and I found it really liquid (trades can be executed within a few seconds).

However, in NSE (India) share market, it takes between minutes to days to sell the shares I've purchased.

I'd like to know which is the most liquid market besides spot forex. Would it be currency derivatives (futures), options, stock derivatives, commodities, bonds, etc.?

  • 1
    Something else to consider here is do you want the liquid market accessible to you or the most liquid market in the world? These may be different things.
    – JB King
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 15:10
  • Building on the question by @JBKing, do you want liquidity any time of day or night, or does your definition of liquidity allow for high liquidity during some "normal" business hours? (However you choose to define normal in context.)
    – user32479
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 18:28

2 Answers 2


I would rate index futures, in particular the US index futures (e.g. the S&P 500 future) as the most liquid markets after the forex markets.


Depends on how you measure liquidity. There's papers out there that approach this very question.

Measured in order book spreads for a consolidated $100m trade, I'd say the second biggest market is FX swaps, followed or par'd by the money market (government bonds).

If you disallow OTC venues, it's most definitely exchange listed government bonds.

If, however, you happen to think in terms of sheer volume per time, the most liquid market phase could be considered the NYSE closing auction, as you can move billions in a matter of minutes, or expressed in speed terms: several m$/s (million dollars per second).

You should pick a definition and we can provide you with a more accurate list of candidates and actual data.


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