What is Options Chain: Key Support And Resistance Levels

Option chains include a detailed list of all option contracts for an underlying asset. They mention the strike price, expiration date, implied volatility, and bid/ask prices. Option chain analysis enables investors to make better trading decisions while trading various options like the Nifty 50 option chain indices.

Components of an Options Chain

Before learning how to read an options chain, it is important to understand the different components of an options chain. They include the following.


    Last Traded Price (LTP): Last traded price gives the last price at which the last trade occurred. 


    Strike Price:  The strike price is the price at which the option holder agrees to purchase or sell the underlying asset when it expires.


    Bid Price: The bid price is the option contract’s highest bid in the market. It is often the best market price a trader is willing to pay. 


    Ask Price: Ask price is the contract’s highest market price. It is the best market price at which the option holder is willing to sell.


    Net Change: Net change is the option’s price change from the previous trading day. It indicates the price direction of the underlying asset and changes from the last trade.


    Percentage Change: Percentage change indicates how much the last LTP has changed from the previous LTP. The result is shown in percentage. Its formula is: Change*100/previous LTP.


    Volume: Volume is the number of contracts exchanged in a market for a specific contract. 


    Open Interest: The number of open positions for a contract that have not been closed, expired, or exercised yet. A high open interest suggests a greater interest from traders and possible support or resistance levels.

How to Read an Options Chain

In option chains, including Nifty Bank option chain indices, the options contracts are listed according to the strike price and expiration date. Here are the steps to read and analyse options chains.


Step 1: Locate the Options Chain


Visit a good financial website or brokerage platform like BlinkX that offers option data. Most platforms provide options chains for free. Moreover, many brokerages incorporate them into their trading systems.


Step 2: Identify the underlying asset


The options chain often involves equities, indices, and commodities. Before you begin analysing, identify the underlying asset.


Step 3: Understand the Columns in Option Chain


The options chain will have many columns containing various kinds of information. The structure or design may differ based on the platform you use. However, all of them will include the following data.


        Strike Price 

        Call Symbol

        Put Symbol

        Last Trading Price

        Change Price

        Bid Price

        Ask Price


        Open Interest

        Expiration Date


Step 4: Filter out the expiration dates


Options contracts with certain expiration dates may be suitable for your trading strategy and time horizon. You may choose short-term options that expire in a few weeks or even long-term options that last many months.


Step 5: Analyse strike prices


Strike prices are an important element in options trading. If you execute the option, the strike price determines whether you can buy or sell the underlying asset. Analyse the strike prices of different contracts and their relationship to the price of the underlying security.


Step 6: Review the Bid-Ask Spread


The bid-ask spread refers to the gap between a buyer’s highest bid and a seller’s lowest ask price. Traders generally prefer narrow bid-ask spreads because they reduce the entry and exit charges.


Step 7: Check Volume and Open Interest

Higher trading volume suggests more liquidity, which might result in tighter bid-ask spreads. The open interest is the number of outstanding contracts in an option chain. It indicates the option’s attractiveness and activity.

Benefits of Options Chain Analysis

Traders can benefit from option chain analysis in many ways. Some of the key advantages are mentioned below:

  1. Risk Management: Option chain analysis allows traders to understand the risk and adopt risk management strategies. 


  1. Entry & Exit of Trades: Traders who carefully read the option chain data can enter or exit the market at the right time. They can benefit from market movements. Moreover, they can hedge against unexpected price changes.


  1. Proper Decision Making: It also helps traders make the appropriate investment decisions based on market sentiment, liquidity, expected volatility, etc.


  1. Flexible Trading Strategy: Traders can adjust their strategies as per the changes in option chain data, market circumstances, and emerging trends.


Understanding the options chain is critical for effective trading. The option chain chart is a vital tool since it shows all of the available options contracts along with their prices, expiry dates, and strike prices. This enables investors to make proper decisions and manage risk better. This also helps them to take advantage of market opportunities. With proper options chain analysis, individuals may optimise their trading strategies and effectively trade in the options market.


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