Currency Momentum Strategies

86 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2011 Last revised: 7 Nov 2011

See all articles by Lukas Menkhoff

Lukas Menkhoff

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics

Lucio Sarno

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Maik Schmeling

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Andreas Schrimpf

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) - Monetary and Economic Department; CREATES - Aarhus University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 7, 2011

Abstract

We provide a broad empirical investigation of momentum strategies in the foreign exchange market. We find a significant cross-sectional spread in excess returns of up to 10% p.a. between past winner and loser currencies. This spread in excess returns is not explained by traditional risk factors, it is partially explained by transaction costs and shows behavior consistent with investor under- and over-reaction. Moreover, cross-sectional currency momentum has very different properties from the widely studied carry trade and is not highly correlated with returns of benchmark technical trading rules. However, there seem to be very effective limits to arbitrage which prevent momentum returns from being easily exploitable in currency markets.

Keywords: Momentum returns, Limits to Arbitrage, Idiosyncratic Volatility, Carry Trades

JEL Classification: F31, G12, G15

Suggested Citation

Menkhoff, Lukas and Sarno, Lucio and Schmeling, Maik and Schrimpf, Andreas and Schrimpf, Andreas, Currency Momentum Strategies (November 7, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1809776 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1809776

Lukas Menkhoff

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Spandauer Strasse 1
Berlin
Germany

Lucio Sarno (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School ( email )

Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Maik Schmeling

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance ( email )

House of Finance
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
Frankfurt am Main, Hessen 60323
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/maikschmeling/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Andreas Schrimpf

CREATES - Aarhus University ( email )

School of Economics and Management
Building 1322, Bartholins Alle 10
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Denmark

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) - Monetary and Economic Department ( email )

Centralbahnplatz 2
CH-4002 Basel
Switzerland

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