EWZ – iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF – Shares of the EWZ, an exchange-traded fund designed to provide investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of publicly traded securities in the aggregate in the Brazilian market as measured by the MSCI Brazil Index, rallied 0.70% to $63.40 by 2:30 pm (ET). Despite the slight uptick in the price of the underlying fund, one options trader opted to purchase a plain-vanilla debit put spread in the August contract. Perhaps fearing shares could reverse course by expiration next month, the trader picked up 10,000 puts at the August $61 strike for a premium of $2.92 each, and sold the same number of puts at the lower August $55 strike for a premium of $1.32 apiece. The net cost of the bearish play amounts to $1.60 per contract. Thus, the put-spreader is positioned to make money if shares of the fund decline 6.30% from the current price of $63.40 to breach the effective breakeven price on the spread at $59.40 by August expiration day. Maximum available profits of $4.40 per contract accumulate for the trader should shares of the ETF plunge 13.25% lower to trade below $55.00 by expiration. The investor may have initiated the spread to protect the value of a position in the underlying shares. If this is the case, downside protection kicks in if shares fall below $59.40, and maxes out if the EWZ trades below $55.00 ahead of expiration day in August.
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Andrew Wilkinson is the senior market analyst at Interactive Brokers Group, where he provides daily commentary and analysis on U.S. equity options trading throughout the trading day. Andrew provides webinars designed to explain option-related trading scenarios covering futures, fixed income, forex and equities.
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