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Japan fund draws large upside bet

Mike Yamamoto (mike.yamamoto@optionmonster.com)

A large bullish bet is targeting the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund, which has been rallying for more than four months as the country tries to revive its long-stagnant economy.

A trader purchased 7,600 May 47 calls at the same second on Friday for $0.65, according to optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker tracking system. This is clearly a new position, as open interest in the strike was a mere 8 contracts before the day's trading began.

The DXJ rose 1.44 percent on Friday to finish the week at $44.51, its highest close since September 2008. The exchange-traded fund, which tracks major Japanese equities while adjusting for currency fluctuations, has soared more than 40 percent since last November with unprecedented stimulus policies from the Tokyo government and the Bank of Japan.

Friday's long calls , which lock in the price where traders can buy the stock, are looking for the DXJ to gain another 7 percent or more by mid-May. These contracts could be sold earlier at a profit if their premiums rise with a rally before then, but they will expire worthless if the stock remains below the $47 strike price. (See our Education section)

The fund saw total option volume of 13,351 contracts on Friday, 8 times its daily average in the last month. Calls outpaced puts by more than 5 to 1, a reflection of the day's bullish sentiment.

Disclosure: I own DXJ shares.

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