Define: Triple Witching

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Triple Witching



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Full Definition of Triple Witching


Triple Witching is a market phenomenon that occurs when contracts for futures, stock options, and index options all expire on the same day. Triple witching typically occurs during the last trading hour on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December of every year (i.e. triple witching hour). During the triple witching hour, the markets generally exhibit unusual volatility as traders scramble to close or adjust their positions. Some short term traders attempt to profit from the unusual volatility exhibited during triple witching. Some traders may also apply historical performance measures as an attempt to gauge the direction of the market during the triple witching week (TWW). Since triple witching is a short term phenomenon, it has little effect if any on the objectives of the long term investor. Variations of triple witching include double witching and quadruple witching. Triple witching is inspired from the “witching hour” term used in old tales to describe the period during which witches supposedly become increasingly active.


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Definition Sources


Definitions for Triple Witching are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 5th February 2020.