By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) – The options on a popular exchange-traded fund that allows investors to bet on the strength of the dollar attracted an unusually high volume of bullish bets on Monday, ahead of this week’s European Central Bank meeting.
PowerShares DB Bullish Dollar Index Fund’s, which tracks the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of the six major world currencies, has gained about 5 percent this year and on Monday hit a high of $ 25.26, the highest it has been since June 2010.
The dollar, which has been helped by America’s rosier economic outlook when compared with those of other big countries, hit an 11-year high against a basket of major currencies on Monday.
The ETF’s options have shown signs of an increase in bullish bets over the last few days.
On Monday, calls, usually used to place bullish bets on the shares of the ETF, were busy with volume of 33,000 contracts. The calls outnumbered puts by a ratio of about 10 to 1, according to Trade Alert data.
Monday’s activity appeared to be repeat buying from Friday and expressing the view the recent rally in the dollar will continue through this week’s European Central Bank meeting, said Fred Ruffy, options strategist at WhatsTrading.com.
The ECB meeting on Thursday is a key event with investors awaiting further details on its 1 trillion euro ($ 1.118 trillion) government bond-buying program, which begins this month.
A 25,000-lot of calls on the ETF at the $ 25 strike and set to expire on March 20 traded for 33 cents, on Monday.
There was similar activity seen on Friday when a 23,186-lot of March calls at the $ 25 strike price traded for 31 cents.
The bullish dollar index ETF has a market value of $ 1.18 billion and had an average daily volume of about 242,000 shares so far in 2015, according to Thomson Reuters data. On Monday more than half a million shares of the ETF traded.
(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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