Changes in the price of gold can often be considered a measure of fear in the markets when it comes to international conflicts. Throughout the whole ‘crisis’ that is occurring between Ukraine and Russia gold has not really reacted like there is anything other than a normal real estate transfer going on between those two countries. This past week things apparently deescalated and GLD did drop about a dollar, but I doubt the two are related. GVZ basically just drifted around last week in response to a quiet week for GLD.
Despite Russia being a major energy exporter and cutting oil exports is a potential retaliatory method that Russia may use in response to sanctions, there is not much of a risk premium showing up in the price of oil or in the implied volatility options on USO. In fact note below that whatever risk premium there may have been a week ago decreased even more over the last few days.
The GVZ term structure did a little twist with the index and May contract lower and farther dated futures rising. The OVX curve witnessed a drop of 4.5% in the index and much smaller drop for the OVX futures along the curve. It just could be that despite a low OVX the futures may be looking to higher energy prices coinciding with the summer driving season.