Orders for trade that are executed immediately. On some exchanges, brokers wait to accumulate a number of orders before filling them. Continuous trading, on the other hand, demands that the broker carry out the order at once, or as soon as the appropriate price becomes available. Limit orders are an example of continuous trading: when they are made, the price may not be available, but the broker must execute the order as soon as it is to avoid missing out on the proper price. In the United States, all trading is continuous except at the open.
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A trading system for securities in which transactions take place whenever a sell limit order equals or is less than a buy order or a buy limit order equals or is more than a sell order. Essentially, continuous trading occurs when dealers and brokers attempt to execute orders as soon as they have been received. Except for opening transactions, continuous trading is the way securities are bought and sold in the United States. Compare batch trading.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.