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As below, cmegroup.com seems to indicate that CADUSD weekly options (expiring 25 Mar 2011) have absolutely no volume or pricing.

Does this mean they're impossible to trade? Or, if I had a broker, could I see bid and ask prices (even if no one actually got around to trading any contracts)?

enter image description here

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I'm guessing the broker would be willing to show you bid/ask prices if you go to the trading interface, even before you make the actual transaction. –  fennec Mar 20 '11 at 2:28
    
Got it... but you're saying that CME won't show bid/ask? –  barrycarter Mar 20 '11 at 6:49
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2 Answers

If there's no volume, there's no market. If there's no market, you can't trade.

As fennec notes in a comment below, you may be able to see bid/ask prices on the trading interface: there may be people willing to trade at a certain price.

But if the potential market is so thin that there is no volume showing up, I still think that there's effectively no market. You could get stuck with a security that you can't unload if you want to, assuming you don't actually plan to exercise.

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No volume doesn't necessarily mean nobody's willing to trade. There may be many people willing to buy or sell the options in question, at a certain price. They just haven't actually gone and traded the options - perhaps because nobody actually liked the prices anyone else was offering. This screen only shows the "last" price, not the bid / ask prices: the best prices anyone is willing to pay to buy it from you (what they bid for it) or sell it to you (what they're asking for it). –  fennec Mar 20 '11 at 2:27
    
@fennec - True. I suppose if he could see bid/ask, there may be potential traders. –  bstpierre Mar 20 '11 at 15:28
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You have the TYPE set for "Weekly Volatility Options (European)". Are you sure that is what you want?. If you set it to "Weekly Options" it looks a bit better, meaning that the volume is still 0, but there are prior settlements listed, which suggests that you could probably put in a market order and still be filled, but not at a price you like.

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I might be missing something, but doesn't my screen shot above also have "settle" prices? I think Volatility just means the settle prices are quoted as implied volatilitys not in dollars –  barrycarter Mar 20 '11 at 6:50
    
I'm assuming the settle price is for the CAD/USD future. All of the options couldn't possibly have the same price. It also says "Prior". That means the price is stale and could have been from last week –  Ralph Winters Mar 20 '11 at 15:45
    
The CAD/USD future was closer to 1.03 or something at the time. I'm pretty sure that's the settled volatility for these options. I agree it's rare for option volatilitys to be constant across strike prices (ie, volatility smile), but not totally unreasonable if they're using a "settle" price. –  barrycarter Mar 20 '11 at 15:49
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