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August 1, 2012  Wed 10:41 AM CT

FXI: SEE CHART GET CHAIN FIND STRATEGIES
Put buying dominates option trading in the iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund at its highest level in six weeks, but it could be hedging.

The FXI is up 0.7 percent to $34.45. The exchange-traded fund hasn't been higher for more than a day since mid-May, and shares were down at support and 2012 lows around $32 in late June and mid-July.

Most of the option volume in the name today is in one print in the August 34 puts. A trader bought 21,005 of those contracts for the ask price of $0.58 with volume higher than open interest at the start of the session, so this is a new position.

It is possible that the put buying is an outright bearish play. However, given the market dynamics and potential stimulus measures in China and elsewhere around the world, it seems more likely that this is hedging against a long position. (See our Education section)
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As discussed last week, when using the Stock Replacement Strategy to replace a stock position to trade direction, we want to use an option that has very similar characteristics to the stock. We talked about using the deep in-the-money, 80 to 85 delta option that is similar in the Greeks and has relatively little extrinsic value which tends to work against us in stock directional trading.

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