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  • Demand for gold call options has weakened over the last four weeks, risk reversals indicate. 
  • One-year risk reversals have dropped to multi-month lows despite coronavirus fears. 

Gold one-year risk reversals, a gauge of calls to puts on the yellow metal and a barometer of positioning and sentiment, fell to the lowest level in eight months on Monday, indicating a weakening of demand for the call options or bullish bets. 

The risk reversals declined to 3.125, a level last seen on June 21, having topped out at 4.425 in the first week of January, when the US-Iran tensions had triggered a flight to safety and put a haven bid under gold. 

The yellow metal is currently trading at $1,570, having hit a high of $1,611 on Jan. 8. The markets have been recently roiled by coronavirus and fears of a sharp slowdown in China’s economy.  

So far, however, that has failed to invite stronger demand for call options on gold, as indicated by the slide in the risk reversals. 

A call option gives the holder a right but not the obligation to buy assets at an agreed price on or before a particular date. A put option is the right to sell. 

A negative risk reversal indicates the premium claimed by puts (or demand) is higher than that for calls.