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Feb 1, 2021

The Reddit frenzy has already quadrupled silver's options volume

John Zechner discusses silver


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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 per cent.

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.