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Daily Changes in Fed Funds Futures Prices

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  • JAMES D. HAMILTON

Abstract

This paper explores the properties of daily changes in the prices for near-term fed funds futures contracts. The paper finds these contracts to be excellent predictors of the fed funds rate, and shows that the claim of a nonzero term premium in the short-horizon contracts is more sensitive to outliers than previous research appears to have recognized. I find some statistically significant evidence of serial correlation in the daily changes, but this accounts for only a tiny part of the 1-day movements and there is essentially zero predictability for horizons longer than 1 day. Settlement futures prices for each day appear to incorporate the information embodied in that day's term structure of longer-horizon Treasury securities. Previous employment growth makes a statistically significant contribution to predicting futures price changes, though again this could only account for a tiny part of the daily variance. The paper concludes that futures prices provide a very useful measure of the daily changes in the market's expectation of near-term changes in Fed policy. Copyright (c) 2009 The Ohio State University.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 567-582

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:41:y:2009:i:4:p:567-582

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. John B. Carlson & Ben Craig & Patrick Higgins & William R. Melick, 2006. "FOMC communications and the predictability of near-term policy decisions," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jun.
  2. Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2000. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: evidence from the Fed funds futures markets," Staff Reports 99, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 907-31, November.
  4. Gurkaynak, Refet S. & Sack, Brian T. & Swanson, Eric P., 2007. "Market-Based Measures of Monetary Policy Expectations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 201-212, April.
  5. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 99-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Swanson, Eric T., 2006. "Have Increases in Federal Reserve Transparency Improved Private Sector Interest Rate Forecasts?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 791-819, April.
  7. William Poole & Robert Rasche, 2000. "Perfecting the Market's Knowledge of Monetary Policy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 255-298, December.
  8. Monika Piazzesi & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2006-23, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
  10. Gurkaynak, Refet S & Sack, Brian & Swanson, Eric T, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," MPRA Paper 820, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-70, March.
  12. James D. Hamilton, 2008. "Daily Monetary Policy Shocks and the Delayed Response of New Home Sales," NBER Working Papers 14223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrea Monticini & Francesco Ravazzolo, 2014. "Forecasting the intraday market price of money," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def10, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  2. Jean-Sébastien Fontaine, 2012. "Estimating the Policy Rule from Money Market Rates when Target Rate Changes Are Lumpy," Working Papers 12-41, Bank of Canada.
  3. Joshua D. Angrist & Òscar Jordà & Guido M. Kuersteiner, 2013. "Semiparametric estimates of monetary policy effects: string theory revisited," Working Paper Series 2013-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Gustavo Abarca & José Gonzalo Rangel & Guillermo Benavides, 2010. "Exchange Rate Market Expectations and Central Bank Policy: The case of the Mexican Peso-US Dollar from 2005-2009," Working Papers 2010-17, Banco de México.
  5. Lahura, Erick, 2012. "Midiendo los efectos de la política monetaria a través de las expectativas de mercado," Revista Estudios Económicos, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, issue 23, pages 39-52.
  6. Ghent, Andra, 2007. "Why do markets react badly to good news? Evidence from Fed Funds Futures," MPRA Paper 1708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Rangel, José Gonzalo, 2011. "Macroeconomic news, announcements, and stock market jump intensity dynamics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1263-1276, May.
  8. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2008. "Geography or skills: what explains Fed Wachters' forecast accuracy of US monetary policy?," Discussion Papers 2008/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  9. Coffinet, J., 2008. "La prévision des taux d’intérêt à partir de contrats futures : l’apport de variables économiques et financières," Working papers 193, Banque de France.
  10. Carlo Altavilla & Raffaella Giacomini & Riccardo Costantini, 2013. "Bond returns and market expectations," CeMMAP working papers CWP20/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Di Maggio, Marco, 2010. "The Political Economy of the Yield Curve," MPRA Paper 20697, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Tideman, T. Nicolaus & Plassmann, Florenz, 2010. "Pricing externalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 176-184, June.
  13. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2011. "Geography, skills or both: What explains Fed watchers' forecast accuracy of US monetary policy?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 420-437, September.

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