Predictability of Currency Carry Trades and Asset Pricing Implications
University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)
November 11, 2011
This paper studies the time-series predictability of currency carry trades, constructed by selecting currencies to be bought or sold against the U.S. dollar, based on forward discounts. Changes in a commodity index, currency volatility and, to a lesser extent, a measure of liquidity predict in-sample the payoffs of dynamically re-balanced carry trades, as evidenced by individual and joint p-values in monthly predictive regressions at horizons up to six months. Predictability is further supported through out-of-sample metrics, and a predictability-based decision rule produces sizeable improvements in the Sharpe ratios and skewness profile of carry trade payoffs. Our evidence also indicates that predictability can be traced to the long legs of the carry trades and their currency components. We test the theoretical restrictions that an asset pricing model, with average currency returns and the mimicking portfolio for the innovations in currency volatility as risk factors, imposes on the coefficients in predictive regressions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 54
Keywords: currency carry trades, predictability
JEL Classification: G12, F31
Date posted: December 30, 2011
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