Understanding volume vs. open interest in trading- Why you need to understand them

Analyzing market situations is the most challenging job and it is when metrics, indices, and data come into the picture and hence make the job a lot easier.  Appropriate tools and research are some of the important factors required for analyzing the market situations and making a wise decision. The smallest indicator can make a big difference when you are analyzing it the right way. These indicators include open interest and volume. To understand volume vs. open interest and how they affect the financial market, read on.

Volume vs. open interest in a financial market

Whilst someone associated with the financial market, have come across the terms like volume and open interest, however, there are misunderstanding and misconceptions that go around in understanding what they are and how they work. From a concise perspective, they play an important role in understanding the financial flow of the market and deciding the future trading options.  To see how they work, let’s dive deep into knowing them correctly.

What is Volume in trading?

Volume is the measurement of traded contracts during a specific time and for a certain security. For this security, volume measures the number of transactions for every traded contract between sellers and buyers for every option and future contract.

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If the contracts between buyers and sellers for security are traded adequately, then it represents the trading volume containing a high figure within the financial market. On the other hand, if the security is not traded actively, then the trading volume will be low. These trading volume figures are then monitored by the market exchange daily and are updated after every specific duration throughout the day. The traded volume figure will then be calculated when the trading for the day comes to an end.

Importance of Volume in a trading market

To comprehend the comparison between volume vs. open interest, it is important to know the significance of volume in trading. As mentioned above, volume indicates the security activity that reflects the liquidity in the financial market. High trading volume figures suggest to investors and traders that there are better opportunities and active security interest in the market.

The efficient method to use this indicator is to consider the average trading volume figures. For example, if the volume of a security is quite higher than the normal values and is linked with the change in prices, then it may represent an encouraging opportunity that traders often look at. Therefore, these trading volume figures are used to determine the significance of direction and fluctuation in the financial market.

What is an open interest in trading?

Let us now consider the other half, open interest in trading. Open interest in trading is referred to the number of outstanding options and futures contracts or active contracts for an asset in a certain period. It also represents the security position in the financial market that is not being closed due to any reason.

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Open interest works as an indicator in a financial market that indicates the trading activities and shows either the assets in the market for futures and options are increasing or decreasing. It does not update frequently throughout the trading day as the traded volume. It is calculated once a trading day.

Importance of open interest in a trading market

Open interest usually increases when contracts are created and decreases when the future options and contracts are closed by the sellers and buyers. Therefore, open interest is a liquidity indicator for security and market activities. This particularly means that trading in a security is significantly quicker and easier since the flow of money in the market will be increased.

On the contrary, the decreasing open interest means that there are no openings and new contracts have not been created by the sellers and buyers and they are closing out the older ones. It also represents that the financial market for security is drying up and it is not a suitable condition for trading.


To make a financial decision of trading in a market it is important to analyze the market situation. For this, it is essential to comprehend the distinctions between volume vs. open interest of security in a trading market. Moreover, the indicators show the comprehension of trading system. In addition, daily trading volume and open interest can be used for identifying trading opportunities, otherwise you might overlook some. Market updates traded volume more frequently than it does for open interest, which is updated only once on a trading day. Thus, these indicators are useful for making sure that you are trading correctly and enables you to easily exit or enter a trade at the best possible price.

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