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Is Volatility A Thing Of The Past?

09 May 2017 by lberuti

Most of the political risk is behind us in Europe. Unless his party shows very poorly during the general election next month, Mr Macron should be in a position to at least form a coalition with the center right. In the UK, there seems to be little doubt that the Conservative will secure a strong majority in Parliament in a few weeks. In Germany, whoever comes on top in the September ballot will be a member of the current ruling coalition. So the main source of uncertainty is Italy where the 5-star movement and its anti-euro stance is leading the poll, but elections should not be held this year. We know that they will take place before May 2018, but their exact date has not been set. With talks around the restructuring of the Greek debt apparently making progress, the euro area should enjoy a period respite. That is the message sent to the market by investors who are selling options, betting on a very low realized volatility up to the September expiry. The implied volatility of options with a strike 10% out of the money are trading sub 40% on all indices for the next 5 expiries.