See " Fortnightly Sett ling-days."
Fortnightly Settling-days. The four days in London (" account-days "), occurring approximately every two weeks, upon which securities contracted for sale during the preceding fortnight are delivered and paid for, as well as all differences settled. These days are set by the London Stock Exchange Committee some time ahead and so arranged as not to cover a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday. The term "fortnightly settlement," as commonly used in London, is somewhat misleading, as that city "settles" twenty-four times a year, or twice a month. "Fortnightly settlements" would strictly call for twenty-six settlements. Twenty-eight days, therefore, must be distributed over the twenty-four settlements. This is accomplished by allotting nineteen-day accounts, and once in a while a twenty-day account occurs.
Although there are really four days in the settlement, by general custom the last day is referred to as the third day, and so backward in reverse order, so that really the first day of the settlement is not called the first day at all. This may be explained from the fact that the first day is really "carry-over (or ' contango ' ) day " in mines, and the second "carry-over day " for the rest of the market. The settlement was originally of three days, when the first day was "carry-over day " for everything. After the settlement was changed to four days, by preceding it with another "carry-over day " for mines, the " carry-over day" for the rest of the market was still referred to as the first day. The two " carry-over days" are followed by what is known as" ticket-day and the last day of the settlement is "pay-day." (These subjects will be found explained under their separate headings.) Should the days be so set that the "contango day" for mining securities would, in the ordinary course, fall on a Saturday, "mining contango day" would be the last preceding business day.