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FX technical trading rules can be profitable sometimes!

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  • Zarrabi, Nima
  • Snaith, Stuart
  • Coakley, Jerry

Abstract

This paper investigates the profitability of technical trading rules in the foreign exchange market taking into account data snooping bias and transaction costs. A universe of 7650 trading rules is applied to six currencies quoted in U.S. dollars over the 1994:3–2014:12 period. The Barras, Scaillet, and Wermers (2010) false discovery rate method is employed to deal with data snooping and it detects almost all outperforming trading rules while keeping the proportion of false discoveries to a pre-specified level. The out-of-sample results reveal a large number of outperforming rules that are profitable over short periods based on the Sharpe ratio. However, they are not consistently profitable and so the overall results are more consistent with the adaptive markets hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Zarrabi, Nima & Snaith, Stuart & Coakley, Jerry, 2017. "FX technical trading rules can be profitable sometimes!," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 113-127.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:113-127
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2016.12.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Technical trading; False discovery rate; Persistence analysis; Exchange rate;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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