Maturity Structure of Commodity Roll Strategies: Evidence from the Energy Futures
23 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2016
Date Written: August 8, 2016
We investigate the maturity-structure of roll strategy returns in the energy futures markets. Our innovation is to report and analyze the risk/return profile, the Sharpe ratio, and the asset pricing loadings of rollover strategies based on futures contracts of the same underlying commodity but with maturities between two and 12 months. We find that a conditional rollover strategy, which takes a long position in backwardation and a short position in contango, delivers the highest Sharpe ratio for all commodities. While we don't observe a significant difference in terms of asset pricing beta for different roll positions, the Sharpe ratio tends to be higher for contracts with a shorter time to maturity. We also report some distinct patterns of maturity-structure across energy commodities. Findings of the paper have implications for managing commodity-based investments.
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