Following Election, Options Activity Spikes in Brazil ETF

Brazilian stocks and the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ) rallied Monday after far-right presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, garnered more votes than any other candidate in the first round of Brazil’s presidential election, which was held Sunday, Oct. 7.

The controversial Bolsonaro did not get the 50% of the vote required to avoid a runoff. He heads to an Oct. 28 runoff election against Fernando Haddad of the left wing PT party.

The markets have supported Bolsonaro partly due to the presidential candidate’s appointment of Paulo Guedes, a University of Chicago-trained financier, as his “one-stop shop” on economic policy. Investors believe Guedes is the best hope of a revival of further reforms, which have stalled in recent years.

Following the first round of the election, options activity in EWZ soared in Monday’s U.S. trading session.

“Roughly 128,000 calls and 134,000 puts have traded on EWZ so far today, three times what’s typically seen at this point and volume pacing in the 100th annual percentile. Most active is the November 31 put, though the activity here appears to be tied,” according to Schaeffer’s Investment Research.

Other Statistics

On Monday, EWZ jumped above its 200-day moving average for the first time since August. The fund is the largest US-listed ETF dedicated to Brazilian stocks.