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A spread option is a type of option that derives its value from the difference, or spreadbetween the prices of two or more assets.

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  • Bull and bear spreads[ edit ] If a spread is designed to profit from a rise in the price of the underlying security, it is a Bull spread.
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Other than the unique type of underlying asset—the spread—these options act similarly to any other type of vanilla option. Spread options that a spread option is not the same as an options spread.

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  • In practice, however, choosing a bull call spread instead of buying only the lower strike call is a subjective decision.
  • Any spread that is constructed using calls can be refered to as a call spread.

The latter is a strategy typically involving two or more options on the same, single underlying asset. Key Takeaways A spread option functions as a vanilla option but the underlying is a price spread rather than a spread options price. The price spread used may be the spread between spot and futures prices the basisbetween interest rates, or between currencies, among others.

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Spread options typically trade over-the-counter OTC. How Spread Options Work Spread options can be written on all types of financial products including equities, bonds, and currencies. While some types of spread options trade on large exchanges, their primary trading venue is over-the-counter OTC.

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Some types of commodity spreads enable the trader to gain exposure to the commodity's production process, specifically the difference between the inputs and outputs. The most notable examples of these processing spreads are the crackcrushand spark spreadswhich measure profits in the oil, soybean, and electricity markets, respectively.

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The underlying assets in the above examples are different commodities. However, spread options may also cover the differences between prices of the same commodity trading at two different locations location spreads or of different grades quality spreads. Likewise, the spread can be between prices of the same binars official site, but at two different points in time calendar spreads.

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spread options A good example would be an option on the spread of a March futures contract and a June futures contract with the same underlying asset. Rather than buy the refined products and sell crude oil, the trader may simply buy a call option on the crack spread. Similarly, a trader believes that the relationship between near-month wheat futures and later-dated wheat futures currently trades significantly above its historical range.

Let us use the example of Class C share price of Alphabet, Inc. The Alphabet, Inc. Instead of just buying an out-of-the-money call option on Alphabet, Inc. Bull Call Spread A bull call spread means that I will buy one in-the-money call option, and I will sell one spread options call option. I could enter a bull call spread by buying a call that is already in the money ITM.

The trader can sell the spread, hoping that its value will soon return to normal. Or, he or she can buy a put spread option to accomplish the same goal, but at a much lower initial cost.

Spread Options Strategies Remember, spread options, which spread options specific derivative contracts, are not options spreads, which are spread options used in trading options. However, because spread options act as most other vanilla optionsa trader can in turn implement an options spread on spread options—buying and selling different options based on the same underlying spread.

All options give the holder the right, but not the spread options, to buy or sell a specified underlying asset at a specific price at or by a specific date.

Vertical spreads are used for two main reasons: For debit spreads, to reduce the premium amount payable. For credit spreads, to lower the option position's risk.

Here, the underlying is the difference in price of two or more assets. The caveat is that the market for these exotic options is not as robust as it is for vanilla options.


The major exceptions would be crack and crush spread options, which trade on the CME Groupso the markets there are more reliable. Therefore, these options strategies are more readily available. Compare Accounts.