The main theme for December was weaker USD trades and we see the same focus at the start of 2021. Main moves for the dollar over the last month have been against EM, metals and commodity currencies. Gold started December bouncing off the 1780 support and traded up to the top of the channel and then started 2021 with a clear break up above the resistance.
Vols jumped higher on the break, from relative low levels, with 1 month up 2 vol to 18.25. 1 month traded above 22 vol back in August when spot was on the highs. Risk reversals haven’t picked up on the break and trades around same levels as end of December, 1 month is currently around 1.5 vol for XAU calls, compared to 3.5 highs back in August. The risk premium is currently around 4 vol, but keep in mind that includes a few quiet days over the holidays which limit the realize vol.
We still could see vol move higher if spot continues higher even after the last day spike in vol. We see good value in the risk reversal at these levels, either buying calls and finance it with selling some puts or buying lower deltas call for a more bullish trade. Also call-flies offer good value for a less bullish trade with no risk except the premium paid for the structure.
Some trade examples for higher XAUUSD:
Buy 3 months 2100 XAUUSD call
Cost 2800 pips
Buy 1 month 2000 XAUUSD call
Sell 1 month 1850 XAUUSD put
Cost 1240 pips
Buy 1 month 1950 XAUUSD call in 1 unit
Sell 1 month 2000 XAUUSD call in 2 units
Buy 1 month 2050 XAUUSD call in 1 unit
Cost 1100 pips
Spot ref. 1941.80