Open Interest vs. Volume

By optionbeginner •  Updated: 05/02/22 •  11 min read

One of the most challenging tasks is analyzing market circumstances, and here is where economic indicators, metrics, and statistics come into play and simplify the work. However, market research and the right tools are the most critical aspects when assessing market circumstances and making decisions.

When adequately studied, even the slightest signal may have a significant effect. Open interest and volume are two of the most prominent metrics that may help you comprehend the trade and futures markets’ condition. Liquidity is a characteristic that allows participants to buy and sell assets at relatively constant prices quickly. Liquidated markets exhibit a full depth, with significant involvement enabling efficient order fulfillment. Volume and open interest can be measured and projected by the market’s liquidity levels.


The liquidity and behavior of options or futures contracts are described by two major technological indicators: volume and open interest. The volume indicator tracks how many options or stock contracts are traded among market participants on a given trading day and the degree of engagement for each commodity.

The quantity of options or stock contracts owned by active buyers and sellers is known as open interest. These roles have been created, but they haven’t been filled, expired, or activated yet. So before pitting the volume and genuine interest against one other, it’s crucial to understand that they’re vital in different manners.

Both open interest values and volume are measures of market liquidity and interactions. Open interest is the number of contracts in options and futures transactions that are live (or not finalized) for a commodity at any specified instance.

On the other hand, volume is unique to individual trades executed during a specific period. The open interest is very volatile, with frequent spikes and reductions. It provides a broad view of active interest in a particular asset. On the other hand, volume measures the active trading for a certain period and commodity.

Understanding liquidity (what is it?)

Liquidity is the simplicity and quickness at which a future or options contract may be purchased or sold (i.e., converted into cash) without altering its prices. Liquid contracts are more attractive to investors at the given price in futures and options trades. A purchaser and a vendor are required in every transaction.

When there is a high demand and supply in the marketplace, it is usually easier to enter and exit contracts because many buyers are ready to purchase or sellers willing to sell. In simple terms, liquidity is the ability to quickly enter and exit a trade. Therefore, liquidity is a critical aspect of market behavior to consider when looking at the open interest vs. volume concept.

Liquidity is a trade feature that allows players to purchase and sell particular securities rapidly and with reasonably consistent pricing. Liquid markets have a ton of potential and a lot of market activity, ensuring that transactions are completed quickly. Traders that trade in liquid marketplaces profit from the narrow bid/ask spreads and little slippage.

There are two standard methods for determining an option’s liquidity. The first one is the average volume per day or the number of transactions on that particular day. The greater the volume, the more liquidity, and the lesser the volume, the more inferior liquidity. The open interest method is the second approach to estimating liquidity. The options will have more liquidity if the open interest is substantial. Conversely, the option’s contract will be considered illiquid if the open interest is low.

Understanding Options Contracts

An options contract is a two-party deal intended to facilitate a potential trade. This contract gives the buyer or seller the right to purchase or sell an underlying security, such as shares, at a predetermined price called the strike price.

Up to the agreement’s expiration date, the transactions can take place. You have the right, but not the obligation, to purchase or sell securities at the agreed amount before or on the expiry date if you have an options contract. A call option provides you the right to buy an asset in the future, whereas a put option gives you the freedom to sell an investment.

What is open interest?

The overall number of futures and options owned by investors at the end of the working day is known as open interest. It’s a tool for determining market sentiments and the intensity of price fluctuations. In addition, economists commonly use open interest to evaluate the sustainability of an asset.

Growing open interest is usually an indication that the market is gaining momentum, while falling open interest might be a warning that the market is fading. The assumption is that investors will raise capital to reinforce the market trend, generating open interest. However, as investors lose trust in the trend, they leave the market, resulting in a drop in open interest.

What does open interest tell you?

By displaying simply the number of options of futures contracts that have changed hands during trading sessions, the open interest analysis aids a broker’s understanding of the market position. As a result, investors can learn where to invest for maximum ROI after evaluating and analyzing the open interest. In addition, one can readily determine the asset’s short-term trend lines.

The maximum PUT option open interest strike will be the options support, while the largest CALL open interest strike will be the stock’s resistance. An increase in open interest reflects that new money is entering the market, whereas a fall in open interest shows that money is leaving the market. Buyers push the market higher by injecting new money, and sellers do the reverse. When a new contract is exchanged, pen interest grows.

How do you calculate open interest in options?

The total number of transactions connected with initial deals is used to compute open interest and then subtract all of the options linked to concluding transactions. When you assume that every one of the dealers is planning to buy or sell from a trader who is also looking to do the same, open interest gets much more difficult.

Occasionally, both players will start transactions and increase open interest; sometimes, one side would close a deal while the other opens, not affecting the open interest. But, on the other hand, occasionally, both parties may be closing transactions. Thus open interest decreases in this case.

What is volume? (in options trading)

The overall number of options contracts purchased and sold for the given trading day at a specific strike price is volume. An option’s trading activity is proportional to the volume of the underlying assets. Investors might look for indications of the source of significant options activity by comparing it to the asset’s usual daily turnover.

The number of commodities exchanged in a particular period is trading volume. For example, when examining the underlying holdings of an options contract, the volume might reveal the intensity of the existing price swings.

What does volume tell you?

The transaction volume of an options contract aids venture capitalists in determining its liquidity. Suppose an option has a larger trade volume. In that case, it suggests that a significant options contract is being transacted, making it simpler for a trader to acquire or sell a holding at a reasonable price.

While trading volume might suggest movement in a stock, it simply displays the number of new contracts traded rather than the number of sellers or buyers. Trends extensions or exhaustions may also be predicted using transaction volumes. A dealer can conclude that order flow is constant if volumes are relatively high.

The current trend will likely hold as long as purchases and sales continue to flood the marketplace. When volume falls, unfortunately, the movement essentially fades. Consequently, a significant price increase is becoming increasingly unlikely, and it could be time for the investor to abandon any trend-following approaches.

How do you calculate volume in options?

The options volume is obtained by adding the number of transactions completed on a given trading day. Varying time durations, such as daily or hourly, might be used to monitor volume. The volume provides a gauge of the options engagement and the liquidity offered. When an options contract is exchanged, whether purchased or sold, it contributes to the trading volume.

Open Interest vs. Volume

Analyzing the daily trading volume in a given options contract can help investors find the best options and stocks. Professional investors frequently use trading volume to determine if a real breakout is valid or whether investment firms are probably dabbling in a commodity. Options traders can track daily trading volumes using two metrics: option volume and open interest.

Open interest is an indicator of asset trade that reveals whether or not money is flowing into options and futures contracts. Open interest can reflect increased liquidity for the transaction being fulfilled. Open interest is updated once each day, whereas the trade volume might be updated more than once. Transaction volume can assist traders in determining the asset’s strength, which establishes trends. Prices tend to follow the same path as a trading volume.

If the price of an option continues to rise, the volume of options should increase as well, and likewise. Volume trading offers investors a good understanding of an asset’s price deciding whether to purchase or sell it. The most efficient way to use this statistic is to concentrate on the contract’s average daily transaction volume stats.

Overall volume and open interest provide useful information about a stock’s performance and aid investors in making trading choices. Since volume fluctuates so much, it’s normally based on estimations of one day. However, open interest indicates how many individuals are willing to buy or sell a certain commodity, but it does not imply that those traders know the stock’s direction. Therefore, both should be utilized to aid in market analysis rather than definite indications of market direction.

How to use Open Interest & Volume to Improve Your Trading volume

The volume and open interest of a stock can be a reliable indicator of market trends. The quantity of transactions conducted during a trading period is volume. It’s a metric for market volatility. The entire volume of outstanding deals is known as open interest. It determines how active the business is.

High open interest metrics show that the average price movement supporting the underlying asset is solid or that investors are confident in the trend’s continuation. These patterns can be bullish or bearish, but significant open interest indicates that they are likely to persist. The term “open interest” does not distinguish between long and short holdings.

When combined with trading volume, high open interest might indicate that an option has more liquidity. The two key indicators of an option’s market trends are volume and open interest. If you’re new to futures trading, keep an eye on these two factors since they can be all you need to make a successful selection.

Since they represent the market’s general attitude, volume and open interest are dependable signals. Both of these measures are critical in determining whether the value of a particular option will increase or decrease. A rise in a contract’s open interest should be interpreted as a hint of increased volatility. This increased trading volume will reflect the increased volatility, perhaps making futures and options contracts exceedingly volatile.


The Open Interest is determined by the number of contract holders who have active positions. The volume shows running totals for all trading days and is updated every day. Applications of open interest and volume are large, and the trading limits are limited only by the trader’s imagination.

These metrics are commonly used for trading strategies in trend-based and reverse-trend markets. A saying says that you always influence trends. Although it is a good observation, this statement does not tell us how to effectively exit trending markets or trades. Open interest and volume are beneficial: Trend and reverse traders regularly assess open interest and volume relationships.

Most Investors utilize open interest and contract transaction volume as crucial indications to discover investment opportunities. A rise in open interest and market cap is often thought to predict a price hike. As a result, options contracts with significant open interest and volume are a good investment choice.