Monday, 17 December 2007

Selling a Straddle on Cable (GBPUSD)

The dollar has been on a bit of a rebound lately, and one of the currencies it has done OK against recently has been the British Pound.

3 month Chart of British Pound versus US Dollar

With some HORRIBLE numbers out of the UK lately, including November asking prices for UK property down 3.2% in November, and down 6.8% in London(!!), the pound has taken a bit of a beating. I think long-term we will see it move from ~2 to the dollar to down to ~1.50 to the dollar, as the UK credit bubble was even bigger than the US. However, I think the slowdown may take a little while to fully unfold in the UK, so I'd expect more negative newsflow from the US than the UK, so we may see FX volatility subside a little. Also, the interest-rate differential may remain positive, or get more positive, for the foreseeable future (BoE currently 5.50%, 1.25% above the Fed).

5y Chart of British Pound versus US Dollar

So I've sold a 2.00 Straddle on GBP, expiring Jan 4th, at 382.6, in £10/point, so pocketing a premium of £3826 = $7700. Spot is currently trading ~2.0180.

If the rate moves sharply in one direction or the other, I may look to actively trade around the separate put/call. We'll see.


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