Investors stocked up on euro puts last week anticipating further U.S. dollar appreciation against the single currency. The greenback strengthened marginally against the euro on Thursday, to USD1.223 from 1.2289, and players reacted by buying out-of-the-money options.
Three-month euro puts were typically striking at USD1.19 and implied vol for the same maturity notched up to 8.61% on Wednesday from 8.49% late the previous week. Another trader predicted investors would accumulate long one month euro/dollar implied vol positions. "[One-month] vol is drifting lower and trading at the bottom of the range, so the options are cheapish," he said, adding "it's a seasonality effect." One month implied vol is around 8%.
Despite the euro/dollar activity, officials across the market reported low levels of trading in spot and options, with only the major currencies experiencing any noteworthy activity. "A lot of customers are holding off over the summer," one trader noted.
One currency strategist at a U.S. house said he would be surprised if euro/dollar had not been the most popular currency pair over the summer calm, adding trading volumes this quarter have increased on historical levels. "It's been higher because there has been a lot of news to digest," he said, citing worldwide economic and political conditions, rising oil prices and strong equity markets.