15 ETFs With The Most Liquid Options

June 21, 2017

Some ETFs Punching Above Their Weight

After SPY, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) has the most deep and liquid options market. The fund boasts total open interest of 6.6 million contracts, just a hair above No. 3 on the list, the PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ), with open interest of 6.5 million contracts.

The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM), the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF), the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) and the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) are a few other behemoths with active options markets.

Then there's also a number of ETFs on the list that are punching well above their weight. Those include the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX), the United States Oil Fund (USO), the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ), the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI).

These ETFs have some of the most liquid options markets, even though they don't have a tremendous amount of assets. VXX, for example, only has AUM of $1 billion, while XOP has $2 billion in assets. That suggests these funds are popular with short-term traders—not a surprise considering that the VIX, oil, Brazil, gold miners and China are among the most volatile areas of the markets.

For a full list of the top 15 ETFs with the most liquid options, see the table below:

 

Ticker Fund Open Interest
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust 17,771,528
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF 6,635,087
QQQ PowerShares QQQ Trust 6,488,055
IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF 4,529,522
XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund 3,886,407
VXX iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN 3,484,288
USO United States Oil Fund LP 3,502,854
GLD SPDR Gold Trust 2,942,741
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE ETF 2,541,963
XOP SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF 2,385,889
EWZ iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF 2,198,495
GDX VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF 2,162,377
HYG iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF 1,660,590
FXI iShares China Large-Cap ETF 2,071,668
SLV iShares Silver Trust 1,680,438

Source: Bloomberg. Data as of Monday, June 19

Contact Sumit Roy at [email protected].

 

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