What is open interest in option trading | Open interest explained in Malayalam

Deciphering Open Interest in Options Trading

Options trading involves various metrics that traders need to grasp for informed decision-making. One such metric is open interest, a key indicator that sheds light on market activity and liquidity. Malayalam video link is given at bottom of the page.

What is Open Interest?

Open interest refers to the total number of outstanding derivative contracts that have not been settled. It applies specifically to options and futures contracts.

For example, if 100 call option contracts are traded on day 1, but some parties do not close out their positions at end of the day, only 50 contracts get settled while 50 remain open. The open interest would be 50 contracts for that particular call option.

Key Points about Open Interest:

  • It represents the number of contracts that exist and remain unsettled at the end of each trading day.

  • Open interest increases when new options or futures contracts are created. It decreases when traders offset their positions by closing out contracts.

  • Higher open interest generally means higher liquidity and traders' interest in the contract. New strikes and contracts may be added for options with high open interest.

  • Changes in open interest from one day to the next can hint at the number of new positions being created or closed out.

So in summary, open interest signifies the liquidity and activity in options trading for a particular underlying security. It is an important metric monitored by options traders to gauge market sentiment.

Significance of Open Interest

Open interest is an important indicator of market activity and sentiment for options trading. Here are some key points about the significance of open interest:


  • High open interest indicates that there is significant liquidity in the option which makes it easier to enter and exit positions. There is high volume of trading occurring.

Trend Identification

  • Rising open interest along with an increase in price often signals the beginning of an upward trend as new money enters the market. Declining open interest signals the start of a downward trend.

Support and Resistance

  • Options with sizeable open interest at a strike price tend to act as support or resistance for the underlying stock price. These strike prices are closely watched.

Volatility Expectations

  • Sudden changes in open interest imply increased volatility expectations. Traders start position-taking to capitalize on expected volatile moves.

Strike Price Selection

  • New strikes are opened by exchanges once open interest at adjacent strikes reaches certain thresholds. Monitoring open interest helps determine opportune strike prices.

So in essence, keeping an eye on open interest levels provides a proxy for overall market movements, sentiment, and participation. It is an invaluable tool for efficient options trading. The interpretation, however, should be done in conjunction with other indicators.

How Open Interest is Calculated

The calculation of open interest is straightforward. If a trader buys one call option contract and another trader sells one call option contract, the open interest for that option increases by one. This cumulative measure accounts for all outstanding contracts.

Here are some additional points about how open interest is calculated:

  • Open interest is calculated at the end of each trading day by the exchange on which the options contracts are traded.

  • Whenever a new option contract is created through opening of a long or short position, open interest increases by 1.

  • When an existing position is closed or expires, the open interest reduces by 1.

  • The total open interest is the sum of all open long and short positions for a particular option across all traders.

  • If multiple traders are involved in creating a new contract, open interest still increases by 1 as there is 1 net new open contract.

  • Open interest denotes the contracts that exist, not the number of traders involved. Even if multiple traders hold the same contract, it counts as 1 open contract.

  • Open interest is aggregated by the exchange at a granular level - broken down by option strike price, expiry date, and whether it is a call or put option.

In summary, open interest denotes the flow of contracts - added when created, reduced when closed out. The cumulative count reflects potential obligations yet to be settled for an option contract. Exchanges provide this data to facilitate options trading and analysis.

Monitoring Open Interest for Informed Trading

Traders should incorporate open interest into their analysis alongside other market indicators. By doing so, they can make more informed trading decisions, considering the broader context of market activity.

Open interest is not merely a numerical figure; it serves as a predictive tool. Monitoring changes in open interest can provide insights into potential price movements and help identify emerging trends in the market.

The Crucial Role of Open Interest in Options Trading

Successful options trading requires a holistic approach, and open interest plays a pivotal role. Traders who grasp the dynamics of open interest are better equipped to navigate the complexities of the options market, potentially achieving more favorable results.

Here are some ways in which monitoring open interest helps traders:

Gauge Liquidity

Open interest signals market depth and liquidity. Actively traded options have high open interest enabling traders to easily enter and exit positions. Low open interest suggests wider spreads and difficulty trading.

Spot Price Trends

Rising open interest with increase in the underlying asset's price indicates a price uptrend. Falling open interest with price drop signals downtrend. This aids trade direction decisions.

Assess Volatility

A sudden spike or drop in open interest warns of expected volatility in the asset ahead. Traders can adjust strategies accordingly to capitalize or hedge volatility.

Monitor Momentum

If open interest rises as asset price reaches a key support/resistance level, it suggests strong momentum. The level may be broken decisively.

Identify Price Targets

Heavy open interest buildup at certain strike prices can act as price magnets for the underlying. Traders take note to set price targets.

In summary, tracking open interest is indispensable in spotting patterns, gauging sentiment, and successfully navigating the intricacies of options trading. Just like volume data, it is a critical input in trading decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

8.1 What exactly does open interest tell us about the market?

Open interest provides information about the total number of outstanding option contracts, reflecting trader participation and offering insights into market sentiment.

8.2 How is open interest calculated?

Open interest is calculated by tallying all outstanding option contracts for a specific underlying asset, strike price, and expiration date.

8.3 Why is monitoring open interest important for traders?

Monitoring open interest is crucial for making informed trading decisions, as it provides a comprehensive view of market activity and liquidity.

Check  video in our channel is about open interest and its comparison with volume, in our future and options trading video series! We discussed about basic concepts of option trading in Malayalam, in first few videos in this series.

To learn more about open interest in Malayalam, check this video - https://youtu.be/DPmfYSHg83w?si=hqxjpWJPf9Q24wX_

Check all posts in our option trading series

1 - What is option trading | Option trading basics explained in Malayalam - https://www.teqmocharts.com/2022/07/option-trading-basics-imalayalam.html

2 - Option Trading Basics | Intrinsic value in option trading - https://www.teqmocharts.com/2022/07/option-trading-malayalam.html

3 -  What is call option | How to buy or sell a call option in Upstox - https://www.teqmocharts.com/2022/07/Call-option-malayalam.html

4 - What is put option | How to buy/sell put option in Upstox - https://www.teqmocharts.com/2022/07/what-is-put-option-how-to-buysell-put.html

5 - When to buy or sell a call or put option | 4 types of orders in options - https://www.teqmocharts.com/2022/07/when-to-buy-or-sell-call-or-put-option.html

6 - Moneyness of an option contract | In the money | At the money | Out of the money option contracts - https://www.teqmocharts.com/2022/07/moneyness-of-option-contract-in-money.html

7 - What is open interest in option trading | Open interest explained in Malayalam - https://www.teqmocharts.com/2022/07/what-is-open-interest-in-option-trading.html

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