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Technical trading: Is it still beating the foreign exchange market?

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  • Hsu, Po-Hsuan
  • Taylor, Mark P.
  • Wang, Zigan

Abstract

We carry out a large-scale investigation of technical trading rules in the foreign exchange market, using daily data over 45years for 30 developed and emerging market currencies. Employing a stepwise test to counter data-snooping bias and examining over 21,000 technical rules, we find evidence of substantial predictability and excess profitability in both developed and emerging currencies, measured against a variety of performance metrics. We cross-validate our results using out-of-sample analysis. We find time series and cross-sectional variation in subperiods and cultural and/or geographic groups, respectively, suggesting that temporarily not-fully-rational behavior and market immaturity generate technical predictability and potential excess profitability.

Suggested Citation

  • Hsu, Po-Hsuan & Taylor, Mark P. & Wang, Zigan, 2016. "Technical trading: Is it still beating the foreign exchange market?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 188-208.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:102:y:2016:i:c:p:188-208
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2016.03.012
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    5. Hudson, Robert & McGroarty, Frank & Urquhart, Andrew, 2017. "Sampling frequency and the performance of different types of technical trading rules," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 136-139.
    6. Fong, Tom Pak Wing & Wu, Shui Tang, 2020. "Predictability in sovereign bond returns using technical trading rules: Do developed and emerging markets differ?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    7. Huang, Jing-Zhi & Huang, Zhijian (James), 2020. "Testing moving average trading strategies on ETFs," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 16-32.
    8. Batten, Jonathan A. & Lucey, Brian M. & McGroarty, Frank & Peat, Maurice & Urquhart, Andrew, 2018. "Does intraday technical trading have predictive power in precious metal markets?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 102-113.
    9. Potì, Valerio, 2018. "A new tight and general bound on return predictability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 140-145.
    10. Potì, Valerio & Levich, Richard & Conlon, Thomas, 2020. "Predictability and pricing efficiency in forward and spot, developed and emerging currency markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    11. Panopoulou, Ekaterini & Souropanis, Ioannis, 2019. "The role of technical indicators in exchange rate forecasting," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 197-221.
    12. Luo, Ji & Tee, Kai-Hong & Li, Baibing, 2017. "Timing liquidity in the foreign exchange market: Did hedge funds do it?," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 47-62.
    13. Georgios Sermpinis & Arman Hassanniakalager & Charalampos Stasinakis & Ioannis Psaradellis, 2018. "Technical Analysis and Discrete False Discovery Rate: Evidence from MSCI Indices," Papers 1811.06766, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2019.
    14. Ivanova, Yuliya & Neely, Christopher J. & Weller, Paul & Famiglietti, Matthew T., 2021. "Can risk explain the profitability of technical trading in currency markets?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    15. Liu, Li & Tan, Siming & Wang, Yudong, 2020. "Can commodity prices forecast exchange rates?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign exchange; Technical analysis; Trading rules; Data-snooping bias;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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