2013 was not exactly the most exciting year for the volatility trading space. Thank goodness we had gold to keep things a bit interesting. As the year came to an end, the SPDR Gold ETF (GLD – 119.29) tested 2013 lows, but did not break through for another leg down. GLD managed to hold support despite the screaming and yelling from bears saying next stop for GLD was 100.
CBOE has data on the CBOE Gold ETF Volatility Index (GVZ – ) going back to the middle of 2008. Due to the dramatic price action that occurred mostly in the first half of the year 2013 will go down as the most volatile year on record for GVZ. The low to high range was just over 185%, slightly surpassing the range in 2008.
The oil market was at the opposite end of the volatility spectrum in 2013 as the price of oil was fairly stable. A lack of geopolitical flare ups along with increased domestic production can be cited for the lack of price action in the United States Oil ETF (USO – 33.75).
The available price history for the CBOE Crude Oil ETF Volatility Index (OVX – 20.60) goes back to May 2007. OVX levels reflected the lack of perceived risk in the price of oil and OVX made a few all-time lows last year bottoming out at 15.20 on December 26th.