Futures and options on foreign exchange
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9 Chapter Nine Futures and Options on Foreign Exchange Chapter Objective: This chapter discusses exchange-traded currency futures contracts, options contracts, and options on currency futures. Chapter Outline Futures Contracts: Preliminaries Currency Futures Markets

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Futures and Options on Foreign Exchange

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9

Chapter Nine

Futures and Options on Foreign Exchange

Chapter Objective:

  • This chapter discusses exchange-traded currency futures contracts, options contracts, and options on currency futures.

    Chapter Outline

  • Futures Contracts: Preliminaries

  • Currency Futures Markets

  • Basic Currency Futures Relationships

  • Eurodollar Interest Rate Futures Contracts

  • Options Contracts: Preliminaries

  • Currency Options Markets

  • Currency Futures Options


9.1 Futures Contracts

  • A futures contract is like a forward contract:

    • It specifies that a certain currency will be exchanged for another at a specified time in the future at prices specified today.

  • A futures contract is different from a forward contract:

    • Futures are standardized contracts trading on organized exchanges with daily resettlement through a clearinghouse - marked to market.

  • Standardizing Features: contract size, delivery month, daily resettlement - marked to market

  • Initial Margin: about 2-5 % of contract value, cash or T-bills held in your name at your brokers.

  • Participants’ losses or profits are realized daily instead of at maturity as with a forward contract.

  • Because of marking to market, the futures price converges through time to the spot price on the last day of trading in the contract.


Daily Resettlement = Marking to Market

Example: On Monday morning you take a long position in SF futures contract that matures on Wednesday afternoon at $0.75/SF.

1. At the close of trading on Monday the futures price has risen to $0.755. Because of the daily settlement you receive a cash profit of

$625 =125,000 x (0.755-0.75)

2. At Tuesday close the price has declined to $0.743. You must pay the $1500 loss (125,000 x [0.743-0.755]) to the other side of the contract.

3. At Wednesday close, the price drops to $0.74, and the contract matures. You pay $375 loss to the other side and take the delivery of the SF, paying the prevailing price of $0.74. You have a net loss on the contract of $1250 (625-1500-375)

You can also close out your long position with an offsetting trade, if you don’t want the delivery of the SF.


9.2 Currency Futures Markets

  • The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is by far the largest.

  • Others include:

    • The Philadelphia Board of Trade (PBOT)

    • The MidAmerica commodities Exchange

    • The Tokyo International Financial Futures Exchange

    • The London International Financial Futures Exchange

  • Expiry cycle: March, June, September, December.

  • Delivery date 3rd Wednesday of delivery month.

  • Last trading day is the second business day preceding the delivery day.

  • CME hours 7:20 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST.


9.3Basic Currency Futures Relationships

Open Interest refers to the number of contracts outstanding for a particular delivery month.

Open interest is a good proxy for demand for a contract.

Some refer to open interest as the depth of the market. The breadth of the market would be how many different contracts (expiry month, currency) are outstanding.


Currency Futures Contract Specifications


Currency Futures Quotations (CME)


Reading a Futures Quote ($/€)

Highest and lowest prices over the lifetime of the contract.

Daily Change

Closing price

Lowest price that day

Highest price that day

Opening price

Number of open contracts

Expiry month


Long and Short Positions in a Futures Contract


9.4 Eurodollar Interest Rate Futures Contracts

  • Widely used futures contract for hedging short-term U.S. dollar interest rate risk.

  • The underlying asset is a hypothetical $1,000,000 90-day Eurodollar deposit—the contract is cash settled.

  • Traded on the CME and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange.

  • The contract trades in the March, June, September and December cycle.


EURODOLLAR (CME)—$1 million; pts of 100%

Open

High

Low

Settle

Chg

Yield

Settle Change

Open Interest

July

94.69

94.69

94.68

94.68

-.01

5.32

+.01

47,417

Reading Eurodollar Futures Quotes

Eurodollar futures prices are stated as an index number of three-month LIBOR calculated as F = 100 – LIBOR.

The closing price for the July contract is 94.68 thus the implied yield is 5.32 percent = 100 – 94.68

The change was .01 percent of $1 million representing $100 on an annual basis. Since it is a 3-month contract one basis point corresponds to a $25 price change.


9.5Currency Options-Preliminaries

  • An option gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a given quantity of an asset in e future, at prices agreed upon today

  • Call options gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy a given quantity of some asset in the future, at prices agreed upon today.

  • Put options: the holder has the right, but not the obligation, to sell a given quantity of some asset in the future, at prices agreed upon today.

  • European vs. American options

    • European options can only be exercised on the expiration date.

    • American options can be exercised at any time up to and including the expiration date.

    • Since the option to exercise early generally has value, American options are usually worth more than European options, other things equal; they are more flexible with respect to exercise time.


9.5 Currency Options-Preliminaries

  • At-the-money (ATM) E = S

    The exercise price (E), also known as strike price, equals the spot price (S) of the underlying asset.

  • In-the-money (ITM) E < S

    The exercise price (E) is less than the spot price (S) of the underlying asset.

  • Out-of-the-money (OTM) E > S

    The exercise price is more than the spot price of the underlying asset.


Currency Options Markets

  • Originally traded OTC

  • PHLX

  • OTC volume is much bigger than exchange volume.($130Bil. vs. $3Bil. Per day)

  • Trading is in six major currencies against the U.S. dollar.

  • Options contract sizes are half of the futures contracts


PHLX Currency Option Specifications


9.7Currency Option Pricing Relationships at Expiry

Currency options are an option on a currency futures contract.

Exercise of a currency futures option results in a long futures position for the holder of a call or the writer of a put.

Exercise of a currency futures option results in a short futures position for the seller of a call or the buyer of a put.

If the futures position is not offset prior to its expiration, foreign currency will change hands.


Basic Option Pricing Relationships at Expiry

  • At expiry, an American call option is worth the same as a European option with the same characteristics.

  • If the call is in-the-money, it is worth ST – E.

  • If the call is out-of-the-money, it is worthless.

    CaT = CeT= Max[ST - E, 0]

  • At expiry, an American put option is worth the same as a European option with the same characteristics.

  • If the put is in-the-money, it is worth E - ST.

  • If the put is out-of-the-money, it is worthless.

    PaT = PeT= Max[E - ST, 0]


Call Option Value at Expiry


Pay-off to Purchaser of aCall Option on C$ for US$


Pay-off to Writer of aCall Option on C$ for US$


Pay-off to Purchaser of aPut Option on C$ for US$


Pay-off to Writer of a Put Option on C$ for US$


Call Option Hedge for $US1m to be Received in Three Months


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