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Pricing Term Structure Risk in Futures Markets

  • de Roon, Frans A.
  • Nijman, Theo E.
  • Veld, Chris

One-period expected returns on futures contracts with different maturities differ because of risk premia in the spreads between futures and spot prices. We analyze the expected returns for futures contracts with different maturities using the information that is present in the current term structure of futures prices. A simple affine one-factor model that implies a constant covariance between the pricing kernel and the cost-of-carry cannot be rejected for heating oil and German Mark futures contracts. For gold and soybean futures, the risk premia depend on the slope of the current term structure of futures prices, while for live cattle futures, the evidence is mixed.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

Volume (Year): 33 (1998)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 139-157

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:33:y:1998:i:01:p:139-157_02
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  1. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  2. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. " Business Cycles and the Behavior of Metals Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1075-93, December.
  3. Bessembinder, Hendrik, et al, 1995. " Mean Reversion in Equilibrium Asset Prices: Evidence from the Futures Term Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 361-75, March.
  4. Vasicek, Oldrich Alfonso, 1977. "Abstract: An Equilibrium Characterization of the Term Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 627-627, November.
  5. Cox, John C. & Ingersoll, Jonathan Jr. & Ross, Stephen A., 1981. "The relation between forward prices and futures prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 321-346, December.
  6. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1987. "Commodity Futures Prices: Some Evidence on Forecast Power, Premiums,and the Theory of Storage," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 55-73, January.
  7. McCurdy, Thomas H. & Morgan, Ieuan G., 1987. "Tests of the martingale hypothesis for foreign currency futures with time-varying volatility," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 131-148.
  8. Hakkio, Craig S. & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1986. "Intertemporal asset pricing and the term structures of exchange rates and interest rates: The eurocurrency market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 325-344, April.
  9. Bessembinder, Hendrik, 1992. "Systematic Risk, Hedging Pressure, and Risk Premiums in Futures Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(4), pages 637-67.
  10. Fama, Eugene F., 1986. "Term premiums and default premiums in money markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 175-196, September.
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