The CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust (NYSEArca: FXF) is up another 2% Friday and trading at its highest levels since the third quarter of 2011 a day after the Swiss National Bank (SNB) roiled global financial markets by scuttling the franc’s peg to the euro.
FXF’s 17% Thursday surge, which arrived on volume that was nearly 34 times trailing three-month daily average, was deemed by some as a Black Swan. Said differently, some of the anecdotes being bandied about are that the Swissie’s Thursday spike was, statistically speaking, a less likely event than Black Monday, the collapse of Long Term Capital Management or the demise of Lehman Brothers. [Some Investors Left Swiss ETFs Too Early]
That is to say is unlikely that the currency market will be treated to another 17% intraday move by a major currency anytime soon, but that is not stopping some traders from looking for Swissie sympathy plays with one destination being the CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust (NYSEArca: FXA).
Earlier Friday, unusual options activity was spotted in the Australian Dollar with one trader spotting 7,000 January $82 calls on FXA changing hands. That number is now approaching 10,000, though open interest in that strike was fewer than 1,000 contracts entering today.
While that options activity for FXA does qualify as “unusual,” it is not odd that after the franc’s epic spike that forex traders would be eying the Australian dollar and gold explains why. Due to the perception that the franc and gold are joined at the hip, traders bid up gold futures and ETFs such as the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) yesterday.
GLD, the world’s largest gold ETF, gained about 3% Thursday, moving above its 200-day moving average for the first time since September, stoking speculation that the franc’s rally could spark a commodities countertrend that would ignite a raft of short covering across the commodities complex. [Swissie Could Spark Commodities Rally]