When you have more than one position on your margin requirements are set by a program called SPAN which looks at the risk of your portfolio. It does this by looking at 16 predefined scenarios and seeing which of these 16 scenarios has the greatest risk, and that is what your portfolio margin is. Each scenario shocks price &/or volatility by a predetermined about. Hence when you have a way out of the money straddle on, the delta of that position is so small the scenario with the biggest loss is probably be going to be based upon a volatility move/shocl and not a price move/shock. Once you lift a leg on the straddle you now have less volatility risk but you now have more delta risk. Whether the margin goes down or not will depend on whether your new delta risk is greater than your old volatility risk.
Some remarks on my positions in the cattle market:
I am still convinced that LCM and LCQ are undervalued, and will expire at a (significantly) higer price. By contrast, LCJ seems to be valued correctly.
Currently I hold the short LCQ P110.
Now the Cattle on Feed report is out of the way. It was as neutral compared to expectations as can be.
Cash prices still can come down significantly in case the S&P index comes down.
Thus, I hedged the LCQ P110 by selling some LCJ C138 options. In addition I bought some LEM outright futures, also hedged via LCJ C138 short options. I expect to buy back all short options at approx. 10 % of their original value.
Best regards, Myrrdin
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@myrrdin thanks for the info... Have a question for you:
Why do you think the S&P and live cattle are that (highly?) correlated? I can understand that from a macro spandpoint, commodities in energy space and/or higher shelf life and under trade can be correlated to financials and (maybe more importantly) to the US dollar strength. Of course, we've been seeing highly correlation in oil and S&P as well, but I am not sure why you'd think S&P index and live cattle are positively correlated. Care to shed some light on this for my understanding?
Also (again as a new entrant in the area) why would the volatility drop in the options with fees for live quotes? Wouldn't access to the market on a low delay basis invite a bit more speculation, and consequently higher volume (long and short) and thus increased/same volatility (going by the "fear" index saying about volatility)? I can imagine (if wrong) how ridiculous this might sound!
Unless you think the wide spreads will go away and as a result std. dev. will reduce causing the volatility to drop.. (again, not sure if there's a connection here b/w bid/ask spread, std. dev. and vol.)
Last edited by ys91; February 22nd, 2016 at 06:59 PM.
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I do not think that Live Cattle and S&P index are highly correlated. There are many effects that cause LC prices to move up or down, which are independent of the S&P.
But: Beef is a more expensive meat than pork or chicken. A significant part of beef is consumed in restaurants. Thus, traders are afraid that if the economy (and the S&P index) comes down beef consumption is reduced. And, as a consequence, the live cattle futures move downwards. Have a look at the LC chart in the second half of August 2015 or in the first half of January 2016.
I assume that many retail traders will stop trading ICE products, eg. coffee or cocoa, as soon as they have to pay $110 per month for live data. And I assume that the high implied volatility of the coffee calls in recent years is mainly caused by retail traders. I hope that I am wrong ... Although coffee is in a downtrend since October 2014 (!) you still get 400 - 500 $ for an option 90 DTE and a strike 25 % above the market.
Best regards, Myrrdin
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