EDITOR NOTE: Options activity in the silver market surged to the second-highest on record. What’s remarkable is not the volume itself but the directionality of the bets. Most people are “net long,” as the option call skew is the highest it’s been in at least fourteen years, since 2007. Perhaps the Reddit swarm has something to do with this, and its short-term effects will invariably be felt, as the grey metal surges and fluctuates. But whether silver prices continue to rise or move in hyper-volatile mode, the longer-term view remains the same: American purchasing will continue to decline as inflation comes to bear. The Reddit frenzy may have given silver investors a nice upward boost. But to pay too much attention to that would risk a myopic distraction from the economic horizon ahead, which is long gold and silver, and short on the dollar.
The silver options market, normally a quiet zone compared to gold or oil, has burst to life, roiled the most in years by the Reddit frenzy.
Volume of Comex calls and puts Monday were more than four and a half times the previous year’s average.
It’s not just that more is trading, it’s the direction of the bets. The spot call skew, or the measure of how much traders will pay for calls minus puts, jumped Monday to the highest level since at least 2007. That level has tripled since Wednesday, climbing from five to 15 percentage points. Last week, Comex call options volume surged to the second-highest on record.
Comex silver futures volume at 323,000 contracts is the highest since August, as the most-active contract jumped more than 8%.
Similarly, iShares Silver Trust options, the biggest exchange-traded vehicle for the metal, has seen unprecedented activity. Implied volatility on short-term options the ETF is has about quadrupled week on week. On Thursday, the options volume surged to the highest on record.
One note that may signal some of the fear is subsiding: The call skew is down slightly from Friday. However, this level is still more than four times that from a week earlier.
Originally posted on Yahoo! Finance