Global ETF draws put buying at highs

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Put buying dominates today's option activity in one global exchange-traded fund even as it trades near 52-week highs.

iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund is seeing heavy action in the January 2014 49 puts today, according to optionMONSTER's Depth Charge system. A trader bought one print of 34,320 for the ask price of $2.11 in volume that was more than 10 times the previous open interest and therefore a new position.

The put buying isn't tied to any trading in EFA shares detected by our systems today. But it still could be a hedge against an existing long position in the fund, as it is a top holding of some major portfolios. It also could be an outright bearish play over the next year. (See our Education section)

The EFA is down 0.4 percent to $57.98 in midday trading, a day after after hitting a 52-week high of $58.23. The exchange-traded fund, which tracks stocks in Europe, Asia, and Australia, has been trending higher for the last six months from below $47.

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