Buying and selling forward and futures contracts is not the same as exchanging things of value, such as currencies. For example, assume that you "buy" 10 futures contracts of Canadian dollars at the market, which represents C$1,000,000 spot. Your order fills at 7895. At that point, your contract is essentially worthless. It is neither an asset nor a liability. It has no current value. It is simply a transaction that gives you a market position. When the market moves away from 7895, your position acquires value. If the market moves to 7896, the value is positive. If it moves to 7894, the value is negative. Whether the position starts out as an asset or a liability depends on the first tick away from the fill price.