Prepare for a ‘mini-drop’ in volatility this week

Investors have seen unprecedented volatility in financial markets so far in 2015, with swings across commodities, equities and currencies – but things could be about to calm down, according to analysts.

Oil prices have hit six-year lows and volatility in the commodity, as measured by the OVX, is up 85 percent since the start of November, according to Old Blackheath Companies, as global oversupply and growth concerns loom.

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But although this jump is severe, other markets are not that far behind, the investment manager said, with volatility in the euro (as measure by the EVZ) up 78 percent since the beginning of the year, and U.S. equity volatility (represented by the VIX) up 51 percent since the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, last week, the Swiss National Bank shocked markets when it abandoned the euro/Swiss franc floor in anticipation of "more pronounced" widening of monetary policy divergences.

It comes ahead of the European Central Bank's (ECB) hotly-anticipated policy meeting on Thursday, where the bank is expected to announce a government bond-buying program after the euro zone officially slid into deflation earlier this month.

But it's not just the ECB that's looming over markets; this weekend, Greeks will head to the polls to elect a new government, and radical leftist Syriza party currently holds a lead in opinion polls.

However, as all three events are likely to be major market movers, Jeremy Hill, managing partner at Old Blackheath Companies, advised investors to take advantage of a short-term, "mini-drop" in volatility.

"Even with these incredibly important events overhanging the market, the U.S. equity market pushed higher and bond yields actually rose from 1.77 percent to 1.82 percent Friday," he said in a note.

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"Thus, there is a kernel of thought that volatilities will decrease between the beginning of the week and Thursday and that global risk markets are due for a mini-drop in volatility."

He added that a number of technical indicators had shown that risk assets were "incredibly oversold" over the last few days. "If you want a punt, the set up for a couple of days of lower volatility may be in place," Hill said.

ECB to disappoint?

Whether or not any market calm is set to continue remains to be seen.

"The likely announcement of quantitative easing (QE) this week should eventually succeed in calming down equity and bond markets," Pantheon Economics Chief Euro Zone Economist, Claus Vistesen, told CNBC Monday. "We expect the central bank to announce sovereign QE on Thursday, but investors will probably have to wait until March for details."

Vistesen, did warn, however, that an extended timing of implementation "could disappoint investors."

While Old Blackheath Companies' Hill said he expected the "mini-reprieve" to be short-lived until the full effects of QE kicked in. He also stressed that the Greek election had the makings of a Syriza win and said that markets have yet to fully digest the SNB's move.

And although the majority of economists expect some form of full-blown quantitative easing program to be announced Thursday, the size of any such package is unclear.

"We suspect that the euro dollar selling last Thursday was the market pricing in the risk of a much larger sovereign debt QE program being announced on Thursday," said Derek Halpenny, European head of GMR at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, in a note.