ETX Capital offers its clients a range of options markets on which to place spread bets.
The following options markets are available to spread bet on through our online trading platform; however, you can access other options by contacting our dedicated Options Desk on +44 (0) 20 7392 1472.
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What is Options trading?
Options trading allows you to speculate on the future value of an underlying market by giving you the right to buy or sell at a particular price.
This means you can take out an option for a commodity like oil, for instance, when the price is low and still be able to buy oil at this price even after it has risen on the markets.
You are not obligated to exercise your option, but it can give you the chance to make trades at more favourable rates than the current market value, until it reaches its expiry date.
Alternatively, you can sell your option to another investor, allowing you to make a profit from the option itself, rather than buying or selling the underlying instrument.
If you choose to spread bet on options, you will not be purchasing the option itself - you will merely be speculating on the value of that option.
All about options trading
There are two types of options - a call option and a put option. The former gives you the right to buy a security at a fixed price, while the latter allows you to sell an underlying instrument at a fixed price.
The level at which you buy an option is known as the strike price.
When you take out an option, you will have to pay a premium and this will be all you stand to lose should you choose not to exercise your option.
Of course, if you are spread betting on options, your profit or loss will be calculated in a different way.
The value of an option will be affected by several factors, including the expiry date, the volatility of the underlying market, interest rates and the intrinsic value of the option.
This is calculated as the difference between the strike price and the current market worth of the instrument in question.
A Options spread betting example
There are two main ways to spread bet on options, depending on whether you want to 'buy' or 'sell' - although you should note that while losses are limited when you 'buy' an option, there is no restriction on your losses if you choose to 'sell' an option.
We'll start with buying a call option on the UK 100.
The UK 100 is trading at 5,500 in December and you are offered a quote for the March call of 5,700 of 130 - 140. You believe the index will rise above 5,700 (this is your strike price) by the expiry date so you accept the 140 quote and bet £10 per tic.
By the expiry date, the UK 100 has reached 5,998, so you would calculate your profit as follows:
Market price 5,998 - strike price 5,700 = 298 tics
You then have to subtract the level at which the option was bought, in this case 140.
298 - 140 = 158
Your profit is therefore 158 x £10 = £1,580
However, had the index failed to rise above 5,700, your losses would have been calculated as follows:
140 x -£10 (or the price paid) = -£1,400
This means that no matter how far the UK 100 had fallen below your strike price, you would still have accrued the same loss.
Selling a call option on the UK 100 is slightly different.
In this instance, your profit will be limited, while there will be no restriction on your losses.
As above, the UK 100 is trading at 5,500 in December and you are offered a quote of 130 - 140 for the March call of 5,700.
You feel that the index will fall, so you sell at the lower figure - 130 - at £10 per tick. Regardless of how far below 5,700 (your strike price) the UK 100 drops, your profit will still be 130 x £10 (or the price received) = £1,300.
However, if the index rises above 5,700, your losses will be calculated in a different way.
The UK 100 reaches 5,895 by the time your option expires.
Market price 5,895 - strike price 5,700 = 195
You then subtract the level at which the option was purchased - so 195 - 130 = 65
Your losses would be 65 x £10 = £650.
This means there is a greater risk to your capital if you sell options than if you buy them.
These are the usual hours of business but may vary where daylight saving applies or where there is a market holiday. All times are expressed as London time.
Unless stated trading hours are for Monday to Friday.