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Are technical trading rules profitable? Evidence for head-and-shoulder rules

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  • Bernd Lucke

Abstract

The profitability of chartist trading rules on foreign exchange markets is still under debate. Since simple technical trading rules may not adequately capture the complex phenomenon of chartist trading, this study focuses on the prominent head-and-shoulder pattern as a representative trading rule which incorporates various 'technical' ideas such as smoothed trends, trend reversal, resistance levels, and volatility clustering. For various combinations of the building blocks of head-and-shoulder definitions the result is generally negative: Returns to head-and-shoulder trading rules are not significantly positive - and if there is any evidence for non-zero returns at all, then it is evidence for negative returns.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036840210150884
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 33-40

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:1:p:33-40

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  1. Szakmary, Andrew C. & Mathur, Ike, 1997. "Central bank intervention and trading rule profits in foreign exchange markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 513-535, August.
  2. LeBaron, Blake, 1999. "Technical trading rule profitability and foreign exchange intervention," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 125-143, October.
  3. Christopher J. Neely & Paul A. Weller & Robert Dittmar, 1997. "Is technical analysis in the foreign exchange market profitable? a genetic programming approach," Working Papers 1996-006, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. King, R.G. & Plosser, C.I., 1989. "Real Business Cycles And The Test Of The Adelmans," RCER Working Papers 204, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1, May.
  6. C.L. Osler & P.H. Kevin Chang, 1995. "Head and shoulders: not just a flaky pattern," Staff Reports 4, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Cornell, W Bradford & Dietrich, J Kimball, 1978. "The Efficiency of the Market for Foreign Exchange under Floating Exchange Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 111-20, February.
  8. repec:att:wimass:9118 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Taylor, Stephen J, 1992. "Rewards Available to Currency Futures Speculators: Compensation for Risk or Evidence of Inefficient Pricing?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 0(0), pages 105-16, Supplemen.
  10. Blake LeBaron, . "Technical Trading Rules and Regime Shifts in Foreign Exchange," Working papers _007, University of Wisconsin - Madison.
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Cited by:
  1. Maxime Charlebois & Stephen Sapp, 2007. "Temporal Patterns in Foreign Exchange Returns and Options," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 443-470, 03.
  2. Menkhoff, Lukas & Taylor, Mark P., 2006. "The Obstinate Passion of Foreign Exchange Professionals: Technical Analysis," Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover dp-352, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  3. Yung-Ho Chang & Massoud Metghalchi & Chia-Chung Chan, 2006. "Technical trading strategies and cross-national information linkage: the case of Taiwan stock market," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(10), pages 731-743.
  4. Lukas Menkhoff & Ulrich Schmidt, 2005. "The use of trading strategies by fund managers: some first survey evidence," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(15), pages 1719-1730.
  5. Cheol-Ho Park & Scott H. Irwin, 2007. "What Do We Know About The Profitability Of Technical Analysis?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 786-826, 09.

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