Traders Prep For France Election, Hedge a big Europe ETF

There are still more than two months before the first round of France’s national elections, but some traders are already initiating bearish options trades on the SPDR EURO STOXX 50 (NYSEArca: FEZ).

Home to $6.75 billion in assets under management, FEZ is one of the largest US-listed exchange traded funds tracking Eurozone stocks. The ETF allocates over 36% of its weight to French equities, making the Eurozone’s second-largest economy its largest geographic weight. Germany, the Eurozone’s biggest economy, is the second-largest country weight in FEZ at over 34%.

“Bears are targeting a U.S.-listed exchange-traded fund that follows euro-area equities. A record 95,350 put options on the SPDR Euro Stoxx 50 ETF changed hands on Friday as a trader bought 45,000 March/May $33 put spreads on the security, which is mostly composed of French stocks,” reports Bloomberg.

FEZ, which does not hedge currency risk, is up 2.6% year-to-date and nearly 12% over the past year.

“The investor is preparing for a rise in volatility after next month’s expiration and a potential drop by May, Susquehanna International Group analysts wrote in a note to clients, saying the trader may be positioning for a move from the French election,” according to Bloomberg.