The Sources of Momentum in International Government Bond Returns
Applied Economics, 2019, 51 (8), 848-857
22 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2019
Date Written: October 2, 2018
This study aims to offer a new explanation for the momentum effect in international government bonds. Using cross-sectional and time-series tests, we examine a sample of bonds from 22 countries for the years 1980 through 2018. We document significant momentum profits that are not attributable to bond-specific risk factors, such as volatility or credit risk. The global bond momentum is driven by the returns on underlying foreign exchange rates. Controlling for currency movements fully explains the abnormal returns on momentum strategies in international government bonds. The results are robust to many considerations including alternative sorting periods, portfolio construction methods, as well as subperiod and subsample analysis.
Keywords: government bonds, sovereign bonds, currencies, foreign exchange, momentum, asset pricing, return predictability
JEL Classification: G12, G14, G15
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