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Tactical Allocation in Commodity Futures Markets: Combining Momentum and Term Structure Signals

48 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2008 Last revised: 19 Dec 2013

Ana-Maria Fuertes

Cass Business School, City, University of London

Joëlle Miffre

Audencia School of Management; Audencia Business School

Georgios Rallis

City University of London - Sir John Cass Business School

Date Written: April 22, 2010

Abstract

This paper examines the combined role of momentum and term structure signals for the design of profitable trading strategies in commodity futures markets. With significant annualized alphas of 10.14% and 12.66% respectively, the momentum and term structure strategies appear profitable when implemented individually. With an abnormal return of 21.02%, a novel double-sort strategy that exploits both momentum and term structure signals clearly outperforms the single-sort strategies. This double-sort strategy can additionally be utilized as a portfolio diversification tool. Interestingly, the abnormal performance of the double-sort portfolios cannot be explained by a lack of liquidity or data mining and is robust to transaction costs and to different specifications of the risk-return trade-off.

Keywords: Commodity Futures, Momentum, Term Structure, Backwardation, Contango, Double-sort strategy

JEL Classification: G13, G14

Suggested Citation

Fuertes, Ana-Maria and Miffre, Joëlle and Rallis, Georgios, Tactical Allocation in Commodity Futures Markets: Combining Momentum and Term Structure Signals (April 22, 2010). Journal of Banking and Finance 34, 2530-2548 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1127213 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1127213

Ana-Maria Fuertes

Cass Business School, City, University of London ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
Great Britain

HOME PAGE: http://www.city.ac.uk/people/academics/ana-maria-fuertes

Joelle Miffre (Contact Author)

Audencia School of Management ( email )

8 route de la Jonelière, BP 31222
Nantes Cedex 3, Cedex 3 44312
France

Audencia Business School ( email )

8 Road Joneliere
BP 31222
Nantes Cedex 3, 44312
France

Georgios Rallis

City University of London - Sir John Cass Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
e-mail: g.rallis@city.ac.uk
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

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