Insurance firms look to time their volatility hedging

Firms consider the return of more volatile conditions

Volatility: a dormant threat

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Market’s Volatility Index (Vix), which tracks expected market volatility on the S&P 500, suggests that stock swings have been particularly low over the past 12 months (see graph). At the end of May, the index was registering an expected movement in the S&P index over the ensuing 30-day period of 11%, its lowest level since March the previous year. The VStoxx, a measure of implied volatility based on the Euro Stoxx 50, tells a similar story.

This is a dramatic r