BUZZ-COMMENT-Are options underpricing Tuesday's U.S. CPI risk to FX?
Reuters · 11/13 10:37
BUZZ-COMMENT-Are options underpricing Tuesday's U.S. CPI risk to FX?

- Tuesday's U.S. CPI data will offer more clues on the inflation path and U.S. monetary policy outlook, yet the risk of increased FX volatility in its wake is surprisingly low - according to FX option pricing.

FX implied volatility is the option market gauge of FX realised volatility over the life of an option and a key determinant of its premium, but there's been a increase, if any in some cases, since overnight/ day expiry included the CPI data.

Overnight expiry EUR/USD implied volatility opened London around 9.25 on Monday from levels around 8.5 in recent sessions. That's a tiny increase in premium/break-even terms from 38 USD pips to 41 USD pips.

The increase in overnight expiry USD/JPY implied volatility was marginally more than EUR/USD to 9.8 from 8.25 last week, but that's still a small gain in premium/break-even terms from 54 JPY pips to 62-JPY pips.

Overnight expiry AUD/USD implied volatility peaked 18.0 ahead of last week's RBA policy announcement before settling at 13.0 in its wake and is just 12.0 - a premium/break-even of 32 USD pips.

A lack of FX direction and realised volatility has been pressuring broader based FX option implied volatility of late and it would seem that traders aren't expecting the CPI data to change that situation. However, with overnight expiry break-evens so low, it wouldn't take a significant jump in realised volatility to reward those holding options.

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(Richard Pace is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)