Basket options are contracts based on the weighted value of a basket of goods. Typically, these goods are commodities or currencies. The contract is set up to represent the entire sum of values in the basket, and the individual purchaser would acquire each of the underlying assets if he or she executes the option. A single strike price and maturity is set. Because of the way they simplify multiple financial products into one contract, basket options are used in order to hedge risks in foreign currencies. In particular, basket options are popular with companies that will need to obtain various currencies at a future date and want to mitigate the chance the exchange will become unfavorable.

Basket Option Example

For example, a corporation will need currency in Indian rupees, British pounds and Euro zone euros. The corporation purchases a basket option with a strike price representative of the sum of all the currencies it needs. If one of the currencies, or all of the currencies, jumps to a high price before the company needs the exchange, the company could suffer from a poor exchange rate. Thankfully, it can exercise the option, getting the basket of currencies for a predetermined price.

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