Put Option Prices Jump on Russia ETF RSX After U.S. Missile Strikes on Syria

The VanEck Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) tumbled lower today, placing Thursday's most active put strike in the money

Apr 7, 2017 at 10:33 AM
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Put option volume was unusually heavy Thursday on the VanEck Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEARCA:RSX), as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. President Donald Trump adopted a more hawkish tone on the Assad regime in Syria. Roughly 14,000 put options were traded on RSX during the course of the session -- quadrupling the expected daily volume, and easily dwarfing the 562 calls that crossed the tape.

Most of Thursday's action was focused on the RSX April 21 put, where 8,049 contracts were exchanged at a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of $0.23. Nearly all of these puts -- 7,694, to be exact -- translated into new open interest today.

Following last night's U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian airfield -- which the Kremlin warned "has dealt a serious blow to Russian-US relations" -- shares of RSX gapped lower this morning, and were trading down 2.7% at $20.70 at last check. This move drops the shares back below their 50-day and 80-day moving averages, which recently completed a bearish cross. Nearby, around the $20.50 region that marked RSX's late December lows, is the fund's rising 120-day moving average -- and further south, at $19.53, is the 200-day trendline that contained the early March swoon in RSX shares.

Meanwhile, in the face of today's RSX slide, April 21 puts on the Russia-based ETF have traded only about 150 contracts so far this morning -- but the VWAP on these newly in-the-money puts has jumped to $0.52, with these options more than doubling in value from yesterday's levels.

rsx daily chart 0407

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