IMPLIED volatility in Hang Seng Index options rose to 37.5 per cent yesterday, its highest level in months. Jardine Fleming said: 'The options market reflected directional uncertainty with many traders showing interest in the January out-of-the money puts.' The brokerage said investors expecting a return of more quiet times sold February 7,300-7,600 strangles. This strategy is where the investor sells an out-of-the money put and call in the hope the market will stay flat or trade within a defined range to make a gain on the premium taken in on making the sales of the options. Option volume was 2,775 lots. Open interest, for Wednesday, was at 27,576 lots. In calls and puts in January, the total was 6,284 and 5,917 lots, respectively. In February there were 617 and 774, respectively. In March there were 4,234 and 7,283 lots and in June there were 1,050 and 1,384 lots, respectively. In index futures, there were 22,832 contracts traded, with 22,697 in January and 64 in February. The January contract closed at 7,430, up 60 points on the day and a premium of 12 points over the crash. Having broken through 7,500 in the week and having failed to lift back through it in the day, analysts are looking at 7,500 as the next resistance level.