An Overview of Open Interest and Open Interest Data Options

For traders new to futures, open interest is the actual number of outstanding futures contracts held by traders in a given market at the end of each trading day. However, because the futures markets are a zero-sum game—meaning that for every long contract purchased there must also be a contract sold and vice versa—open interest is merely the total number of longs or the total number of shorts, but not both. A modern data supplier such as eSignal will have two primary options for charting daily open interest. The first will show the open interest value specific to the contract being charted, while the second will be the total open interest for all active contracts.3 Normally a trader ...

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