How Options Expiration Can Change How You Trade

27 May 2022 Amega

Forex trading can be a very profitable venture, but it can also be quite dangerous. One of the risks you take when trading forex is the risk of options expirations. Many people are confused about how options work, and many don’t even know what an option is. This article outlines the basics of options, explaining why these have a significant impact on the markets and how you trade.

What are options?

Options are a type of derivative security that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to purchase or sell a certain quantity of an underlying security at a fixed price within a set period – the expiry time.

When options expire, they lose their value and the holder of the option can no longer exercise it. This is the main reason volatility rises closer to the expiry date.

But options can be used to speculate on currency movements too and can be very profitable if correctly timed. However, they are also risky and can lead to large losses if not exercised cautiously. This means that to trade a currency pair with less risk, you will need to know when its options will expire as you will be avoiding volatility. For forex pairs, expiration is typically on Fridays at 4 pm GMT. However, this can vary depending on the currency pair and broker. 

Here’s a simple example: Imagine you own a call option on GBP/USD at 1.20, and the price is below 1.20 at 4 pm GMT on Friday. Then your call option will be worthless and you will not be able to exercise it.  

But you don’t need to let the option expire worthlessly. You need to buy a put option instead, though. A put option allows you to sell an asset at a set price before it expires. If you always wondered why there are billions worth of volumes in options trading, look no deeper than the previous statement.

How does the expiration impact the forex market?

In the forex market, options are one of the most important instruments. This is because they allow traders to make bets on a variety of different market conditions. That way they allow institutions to protect their investments in the short term. So, the expiration date on an option is a key factor in how a certain pair will behave.

Options expiration has a big impact on forex pairs because it affects the number of options that are available for trading. When options expire, their prices typically decline. This means that there are fewer options available for purchase, and this can lead to higher prices when new options are issued. It’s also important to note that the number of contracts outstanding often varies based on the underlying currency pair. For example, when Japanese yen options expire, there may be a lot of them available for purchase, while when U.S. dollar options expire, there may be few available.

When options expire, their prices settle down to the strike price that was assigned when they were purchased. This can have a significant impact on the value of a forex pair, depending on whether it’s near or far from expiration.

But the impact of options expiration on forex pairs is complex and depends on a variety of factors including the market conditions at the time the options expire, and how much volume is involved in those particular markets. However, knowing about options expiration and how it can impact forex pairs can help traders make informed decisions.

Here’s how a trader can take advantage of option expiries

Let’s consider this –

 if an option expires worthless this will likely cause the price of the underlying asset to decline. Conversely, if an option has a high enough premium then it may cause the price of the underlying asset to spike. If you see an option expiring soon and its premium is high, consider buying the pair of the option you track to take advance of that particular currency pair’s move as it is used by institutions to increase their exposure. Conversely, if an option expires soon and its premium is low, you might want to sell the pair you track to take advantage of the movement institutions trigger in their attempt to reduce exposure.

How is an option worth trading at expiration?

Options expire at different times depending on the underlying stock. For example, options on the S&P 500 expire in three months, while options on the DJIA expire every six months. This can impact the price of an option as expiration nears, hence the price of the asset.

The more volatile an option is, the more it will change in value as expiration approaches. Volatility also affects how likely it is that an option will be exercised at expiration. Options with longer expirations are more likely to be exercised than those with shorter expirations.

For what is worth, a forex trader who needs to purchase no call or put options can take advantage of options trading as its expiration will affect the underlying price of the asset.


Options expirations can have a significant impact on the price of forex pairs. When an option is about to expire, the underlying asset will typically experience a sudden surge in demand. This increase in demand will cause the price of the asset to skyrocket, which is why it’s important to be aware of options expiration dates and plan your trades accordingly.


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