Monday, August 30, 2010

iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) - Vol Seller in Japan Is a Bet on Global Economy

EWJ (Japan) is trading $9.49 with IV30™ up 5.3%. The LIVEVOL™ Pro Summary is below.

Mike Bristow from V-trader Group gave me this color.

The ETF has traded over 20,000 options on total daily average option volume of just 5,466. The largest trade, accounting for 20,000 contracts was a Jan'11 9/10 strangle sale @ $0.56. The Stats Tab and Day's biggest trades snapshots are included (click either image to enlarge).

The Options Tab (click to enlarge) illustrates that the calls and puts have huge OI. I see the puts with long OI and the calls with short. It looks like a Jan'11 9/10 risky went up on 8-11-2010 25,000x (buy puts/sell calls).

The Skew Tab snap (click to enlarge) illustrates the vols by strike by month.

Not a lot going on there; but the Charts Tab does have a lot.

Finally, the Charts Tab (6 months) is below (click to enlarge). The top portion is the stock price, the bottom is the vol (IV30™ - red vs HV20™ - blue). The yellow shaded area at the very bottom is the IV30™ vs. the HV20™ vol difference.

Note how the IV30™ trades well above the HV20™ consistently in this ETF. i.e. the vol is usually a sale. For a brief moment a back spread was a winner, then back to vol sales. Recently the divergence has opened up pretty wide to 24 vs 18. The strangle sale today sells ~21 vol on average.

Japan is interesting, in that it plays a big role in the overall global economy. Lower vol there means higher markets (usually). Check out this blog from 5-18-2010:The European Crisis Explained and Currency Option Trading.

Hmm... Bullish? Not really clear. If Japan rallies relative to the rest of the globe, does that imply a strengthening or weakening currency? If it's a weakening currency, ok... But if it's strengthening, that may imply bad news.

This is trade analysis, not a recommendation.

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