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Illusory Profitability of Technical Analysis in Emerging Foreign Exchange Markets

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  • P Kuang
  • M Schroder
  • Q Wang

Abstract

We conduct an extensive examination of profitability of technical analysis in ten emerging foreign exchange markets. Studying 25988 trading strategies for emerging foreign exchange markets, we find that best rules can sometimes generate an annually mean excess return of more than 30%. Based on standard tests, we find hundreds to thousands of seemingly significant profitable strategies. Almost all these profits vanish once the data snooping bias is taken into account. Overall, we show that the profitability of technical analysis is illusory.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/13-09.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 13-09.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:13-09

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Postal: Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk
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Keywords: foreign exchange; technical trading; data mining; bootstrap test; emerging market;

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  1. Andrew W. Lo & Harry Mamaysky & Jiang Wang, 2000. "Foundations of Technical Analysis: Computational Algorithms, Statistical Inference, and Empirical Implementation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1705-1770, 08.
  2. Ledoit, Oliver & Wolf, Michael, 2008. "Robust performance hypothesis testing with the Sharpe ratio," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 850-859, December.
  3. Halbert White, 2000. "A Reality Check for Data Snooping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1097-1126, September.
  4. Jensen, Michael C & Bennington, George A, 1970. "Random Walks and Technical Theories: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 469-82, May.
  5. Brock, William & Lakonishok, Josef & LeBaron, Blake, 1992. " Simple Technical Trading Rules and the Stochastic Properties of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1731-64, December.
  6. Neely, C. J. & Weller, P. A., 2003. "Intraday technical trading in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 223-237, April.
  7. Neely, Christopher J. & Weller, Paul A. & Ulrich, Joshua M., 2009. "The Adaptive Markets Hypothesis: Evidence from the Foreign Exchange Market," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(02), pages 467-488, April.
  8. de Zwart, G.J. & Markwat, T.D. & Swinkels, L.A.P. & van Dijk, D.J.C., 2007. "The Economic Value of Fundamental and Technical Information in Emerging Currency Markets," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2007-096-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
  9. Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2005. "Stepwise Multiple Testing as Formalized Data Snooping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1237-1282, 07.
  10. Romano, Joseph P. & Shaikh, Azeem M. & Wolf, Michael, 2008. "Formalized Data Snooping Based On Generalized Error Rates," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 404-447, April.
  11. Hansen, Peter Reinhard, 2005. "A Test for Superior Predictive Ability," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 365-380, October.
  12. Sweeney, Richard J, 1986. " Beating the Foreign Exchange Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(1), pages 163-82, March.
  13. Ryan Sullivan & Allan Timmermann & Halbert White, 1999. "Data-Snooping, Technical Trading Rule Performance, and the Bootstrap," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1647-1691, October.
  14. Momtchil Pojarliev, 2005. "Performance of Currency Trading Strategies in Developed and Emerging Markets: Some Striking Differences," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 297-311, October.
  15. Taylor, Mark P. & Allen, Helen, 1992. "The use of technical analysis in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 304-314, June.
  16. Martin, Anna D., 2001. "Technical trading rules in the spot foreign exchange markets of developing countries," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 59-68, February.
  17. Chang, P H Kevin & Osler, Carol L, 1999. "Methodical Madness: Technical Analysis and the Irrationality of Exchange-Rate Forecasts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 636-61, October.
  18. Lo, Andrew W & MacKinlay, A Craig, 1990. "Data-Snooping Biases in Tests of Financial Asset Pricing Models," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 431-67.
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