Define Open Interest


Let us understand, as to how their trading has an impact on the open interest and its calculation. Open interest is often used as a confirming signal for the current price movement. But on its own, it does not provide much information about price movement. It shows how many contracts are currently in open positions, but it doesn’t tell who is long or short. If an option has high volume and low open interest, there is a limited secondary market for that option, meaning that there may also be low liquidity. A trader trying to sell that option might have difficulty finding a buyer, or they might encounter a larger-than-usual bid-ask spread.

contracts traded

In fact for the example we have just discussed, let us summarize the OI and volume information. Open interest is the number of active contracts outstanding. Open interest represents the number of options contracts for a particular class, strike price, and expiration date that are open and have not been closed or exercised. Volume represents the total amount of trading activity or contracts that have changed hands in a given commodity market for a single trading day.

Technical analysis is only one approach to analyzing stocks. When considering which stocks to buy or sell, you should use the approach that you’re most comfortable with. When a company becomes listed on a stock exchange they issue a fixed number of shares for sale. Open interest also gives you key information regarding the liquidity of an option. If there is no open interest in an option, there is no secondary market for that option.

Open interest indicates the total number of contracts that are currently out there. These are contracts that have been traded but not yet liquidated by an offsetting trade or an exercise or assignment. Say, there are five traders trading the Nifty futures contract.

Global Market

This often means that the current price trend is ending. For example, assume that the open interest of the ABC call option is 0. The next day an investor buys 10 options contracts as a new position.

When options have a significant open interest, it means there are a large number of buyers and sellers out there. An active secondary market increases the odds of getting option orders filled at good prices. It needs to be compared to the average daily volume of the underlying stock. A significant change in price accompanied by higher-than-normal volume is a solid indication of market sentiment in the direction of the change. But, a big increase in price accompanied by low trading volume does not necessarily signify strength. In fact, that combination may well indicate that a price reversal is coming soon.

Fundamental Analysis

In other words, open interest is the total of all the buys or all of the sells, not both. Options ContractsAn option contract provides the option holder the right to buy or sell the underlying asset on a specific date at a prespecified price. In contrast, the seller or writer of the option has no choice but obligated to deliver or buy the underlying asset if the option is exercised. Open interest is not to be confused with volume; it is just the total number of options or futures that are owned and not yet expired. In the case where contracts started trading today, there will be no open interest because there were no contracts before today.

actively traded

Moreover, by understanding the concept of option open interest the trader can make higher returns. To put it another way, open interest helps in determining the momentum of the market. In this article, we shall understand the term open interest.

Open Interest Trading Strategy

These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy. Gordon Scott has been an active investor and technical analyst or 20+ years. Options open interest is the number of open contracts that remain for an expiration.


This includes contracts that have not been exercised, offset, or expired. Total open interest for all contracts is typically over 10 million. Improve your vocabulary with English Vocabulary in Use from Cambridge. Learn the words you need to communicate with confidence. At the beginning of the year, open interest totaled only 148,000 contracts. To see all exchange delays and terms of use, please see disclaimer.

Investment Accounts

Open Interest is the total number of the futures contracts held by market participants at any given point of time. The total number of open interest contracts keeps on changing with every transaction executed. The open interest is said to be the best indicator to gauge the market sentiment and understand the reliability of the price movements.

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For every option contract that exists, there is one buyer and one seller as the buyer cannot sell the contract without the seller. The buyer and seller together create one contract which is equal to a 100 shares of the underlying security or asset. This contract remains open until either party decides to close it. Price movements in the options market are a reflection of decisions to buy or sell options made by millions of traders. But the price isn’t the only number that a successful options trader keeps an eye on.

So, when an option is traded with one party opening and one party closing, the open interest remains unchanged. The most useful indicators of liquidity for these contracts are the trading volume and open interest. Technicians utilize a three dimensional approach to market analysis which includes a study of price, volume and open interest.

  • Trade Brains is a Stock market analytics and education service platform in India with a mission to simplify stock market investing.
  • And once they’ve tallied up the numbers, they can determine something called “open interest”.
  • Only by looking at all the relevant criteria is it possible to get a reasonably accurate idea of how to determine how liquid an options contract is.
  • ” Let me attempt to answer these questions and more in this chapter.
  • Therefore, to determine the total open interest for any given market we need only to know the totals from one side or the other, buyers or sellers, not the sum of both. analysis is an essential aspect while trading in the futures and options market. Following it along with volume and price data can assure a high probability of success and profitability. It’s calculated at the end of each day rather than in real time, so whenever you see it quoted it would be accurate up until the end of the previous trading day. The definition of open interest as it applies in options trading is very straightforward; it’s a number that shows the amount of currently open positions of options contracts. The higher the open interest of a contract, the more open positions there are for it. Quite simply, it represents the number of options contracts in existence.

Financial Theories

Trader A buys an RIL stock futures contract expiring on Apr 25 for say Rs 1,370 apiece. Trader B also places a buy order for one contract at Rs 1,370, so OI rises to two. Trader C decides to sell two lots at Rs 1,370 — one to trader A and the other to trader B. It is calculated single-sided instead of the sums of longs and shorts as for as for every buyer there is a seller and vice versa.

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For example, if there is a deceleration in open interest following a sustained move—either up or down—in price, then it might be foreshadowing an end to that trend. A common misconception of open interest lies in its purported predictive ability. High or low open interest reflects investor interest, but it does not mean that their views are correct or their positions will be profitable.

It would be difficult to enter and exit those at good prices. One way to use open interest is to look at it relative to the volume of contracts traded. When the volume exceeds the existing open interest on a given day, it suggests that trading in that option was exceptionally high that day. An option chain, or options matrix, is a table of all the available options on a particular security. A must be filled order is a trade that must be executed due to expiring options or futures contracts.