Our comprehensive glossary explains many of the terms commonly used in the international markets.

Call option

Right to purchase (call) specified shares within a specified time (option period) at a specified price (strike price).

Candlestick technical study

A chart style where a thin line represents the price range for the instrument in the chart period. The opening and closing prices for the period are represented by a thicker line (red if the price finished lower and green if it finished higher). The overall effect can look like a candle. Many traders believe it is the easiest chart style to read.


An abbreviation for capital expenditure. It is often used when referring to gold mines. It refers to expenditure, which is of a capital nature - in other words used to purchase some sort of fixed asset.

Capital appreciation

Increase in capital value of a portfolio or a particular share as a result of a rise in the market place.

Capital gain/appreciation

A capital gain occurs when an investment is sold for more than was paid for its purchase. A dividend is an income gain, or the natural return on an investment. Capital appreciation occurs when shares or other investments are at a higher market price than they were purchased. Until the shares are sold, no capital gain has been realised.

Capital Gains Tax

A tax on profits realised from buying a security at one price and selling it (or holding it to redemption and then redeeming it) at another.

Capital growth

See Capital appreciation

Capital repayment

Return to shareholders of all or any portion of the issued capital of a company on the winding up of operations; or the return of capital in excess of a company's requirements.

Capital structure

This is the way in which a company has raised the capital needed to establish and expand its business activities or, more specifically, the number of shares and long-term loans in each class that have been authorised and issued. Most Stock exchanges reference books describe the capital structure of listed companies.

Capitalisation issue

Free issue to shareholders of new fully paid shares by a company from its reserves. If of the same class the shares will rank pari passu with existing shares, and are sometimes called a Bonus issue. Companies may issue a capitalisation issue instead of dividends.

Cash balance

The current value of the cash funds in your Webtrader account.

Cash flow

Annual net profits retained in a business, plus the depreciation provision. The concept of cash flow is based on the fact that, although it is a cost, the charging of depreciation does not in itself involve any cash outlay. (The cash flow is useful in gauging a company's projected financial position and its dividend potential.) Sometimes it may be necessary to calculate cash flow on the basis of equity earnings plus the depreciation provision (i.e. before deducting the cost of ordinary dividends). To distinguish between the two concepts, they may be referred to as the 'gross cash flow' and the 'retained cash flow'.

Cautionary announcement

This is a publicly advertised announcement made by a listed company to urge shareholders to exercise caution when trading in its shares. These announcements are advertised in leading papers whenever a company is involved in any activity (such as negotiating a take-over) which should materially affect the price of the shares. The idea is to protect investors from potential losses should the share price alter appreciably in the short term.

Central Bank

Major regulatory bank in a nation's monetary system, generally government controlled.

Central Securities Deposit

An institution established to hold equities, debt or both and to effect transfers between accounts, typically by book-entry.

Chairman's Report

Unlike the Directors' Report this is not a legal requirement, but has become customary, especially for listed companies. Normally, it contains the policy of the company and its strategy for the coming year. This often includes a picture or projection of what is expected in terms of growth in the year ahead. It is interesting to look through the past projections of a particular chairman to see how accurate they have been. This will give you quite a good measure of his understanding of his company and industry.


When prices trend between two parallel trendlines, this is referred to as a channel


A graphic representation of a stock or commodity in terms of price and / or volume.


Price history of a share presented in the form of graphs, which can be interpreted to indicate potential movements in the price. (The charting of share prices, known as technical analysis, is considered by many to be an important adjuct to fundamental investment analysis.)

Chinese wall

A communications barrier between members or departments of a financial institution to prevent the unauthorised transfer of price sensitive information. Chinese walls are imaginary but are taken seriously in an attempt to minimise conflicts of interest.


The process, in conjunction with settlement, of determining accountability for the exchange of money and securities between counter parties to a transaction. Clearing creates binding statements of obligation for securities and/or funds.

Climatic top

See Blow-off

Close a position

Close an investment by transacting the opposite trade. For example, if you bought USDJPY 100 000, you would have to sell USDJPY 100 000 to close the position.

Close rate

The price a position was closed at.

Closing Date Of Offer

Last day on which an offer made by a company to its shareholders may be accepted (eg. rights offer or offer to purchase a shareholder's share in a take-over bid).

Closing Price

Last price of the day for a particular share or instrument. This could be a bid, offer or sale price.


Another term for a Symmetrical triangle.


Any fixed commissions and ticket fees that apply to trades.


Basically these are raw materials such as gold, silver, soya beans, sugar, coffee, steel etc. Many commodities are traded in markets around the world. The gold price is determined in such markets, so they affect any supplier of gold such as South Africa.

Common gap

Any hold or gap in the chart occuring within an area pattern. These type of gaps have no forecasting significance.

Conditional Offer

An offer made to the shareholders of a company conditional to the occurrence of some event. Typically, where a take-over bid is being made, the predator will make an offer to shareholders conditional to its being accepted by more than 50% of the shareholders.


An electronic confirmation of a trade.


The sideways trading from which area patterns evolve.


These are usually very large, sometimes multinational, holding companies involved in a wide variety of industries.

Consolidation Of Shares

Consolidation of a company's shares into a lesser number of greater nominal value.

Consolidation pattern

Also called a continuation pattern. It is an area pattern which breaks out in the direction of the previous trend.

Contingent orders

Contingent orders are the same as related trade orders. Several types are available: 'If Done (slave)', where a slave order only becomes active if the primary order is executed. 'One cancels the Other (O.C.O)', where the execution of one order cancels the other. Three-way contingent orders are also available where two orders are placed if (If Done) a primary order is executed. These orders are themselves related as O.C.O. orders, allowing both a stop loss and a profit taking order to be placed around a position.

Contract note / Broker's note

Contract note (also called broker's note) that records the details of a transaction.

Contract price

The price at which a bargain in any share was struck.

Conversion rate

Transfers and profit/loss from trades are converted into the base currency of your Webtrader account based on the day's prevailing exchange rate.

Convertible securities

Securities issued in one form with provisions allowing them to be converted into securities in another form. For example, debt instruments that can be converted into ordinary or preferred stock, subject to specified circumstances.

Corporate actions

Any action by an issuer of investments, or by another party in relation to the issuer, affecting an investors entitlement to investments or benefits relating to those investments. This includes, but is not restricted to, takeovers, capital restructuring and related activities, rights issues, stock conversions, scrip dividends and redemption's. Also known as Entitlements and Benefit Distributions.


After an advance, a decline that does not penetrate the low from which the advance began is known as a correction. Also referred to as a retracement, a correction usually retraces 1/3 to 2/3 of the previous advance .

Cost to close

The cost of closing your positions, for example, commissions and trading fees.

Counter currency

In forex, the currency that the investor pays with or receives when trading. For example, in EURUSD the variable currency is USD, for example, one unit of EUR is worth a variable amount of USD. When you buy EUR you pay with USD, and when you sell EUR, you receive USD. The other currency (EUR in the example above) is called the base currency.


The opposite party to a trade. Usually one party to a trade refers to its trading partner as a 'counterpart'

Coupon rate

Rate of interest payable on gilt-edged securities, or bonds.


Select the currency cross to trade, for example, USDJPY. USDJPY means that you trade US dollars against Japanese yen. If you buy, you buy dollars and sell yen, if you sell, you sell dollars and receive yen.

Cum Dividend/Rights

Market quotation, which includes participation in the current dividend/ rights.

Cumulative dividends

If the payment of dividends on cumulative preference shares is suspended they accumulate year by year and these arrears must be paid before dividends on ordinary share are resumed. (Dividends on preference shares are not cumulative unless specifically stated.)

Currency trading

Currency trading is an alternative term for Forex trading, FX trading and Foreign Exchange trading.

Current assets ratio

Company's total current assets divided by total current liabilities (e.g. if the total current assets are double the current liabilities then the ratio is expressed as 2:1)

Current or liquid assets

Assets which may be turned into cash more readily than fixed assets. These are usually stocks, debtors and cash in hand, and provide the working capital of a company.


A depository institution, such as a central depository or bank which holds securities in safe custody on behalf of its participants, members or clients.