September 28, 2017 / 6:09 PM / a year ago

Equity volatility schemes seen widely used -Fed survey

(Reuters) - Strategies to profit from stock market volatility are seen as widely used among hedge funds, insurance companies and other institutional investors, a Federal Reserve survey released on Thursday showed.

For their hedge fund clients, nearly one-third of the primary dealers, or Wall Street’s top firms that do business directly with the U.S. central bank, said these volatility strategies or products were widely employed, according to the Fed’s latest quarterly senior credit officer opinion survey.

As for insurers, two-fifths of the primary dealers said these volatility schemes and products “are either widely employed or employed by some clients or in some situations.”

These volatility strategies can involve stock options or volatility products such as the CBOE VIX futures options and volatility-linked exchange-traded funds and notes.

These special questions for the latest quarterly survey came as equity market volatility has been near historic lows since the start of 2017.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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