IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article

Currency momentum strategies

  • Menkhoff, Lukas
  • Sarno, Lucio
  • Schmeling, Maik
  • Schrimpf, Andreas

We provide a broad empirical investigation of momentum strategies in the foreign exchange market. We find a significant cross-sectional spread in excess returns of up to 10% per annum (p.a.) between past winner and loser currencies. This spread in excess returns is not explained by traditional risk factors, it is partially explained by transaction costs and shows behavior consistent with investor under- and overreaction. Moreover, cross-sectional currency momentum has very different properties from the widely studied carry trade and is not highly correlated with returns of benchmark technical trading rules. However, there seem to be very effective limits to arbitrage that prevent momentum returns from being easily exploitable in currency markets.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304405X12001353
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 106 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 660-684

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:106:y:2012:i:3:p:660-684
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Soeren Hvidkjaer, 2006. "A Trade-Based Analysis of Momentum," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(2), pages 457-491.
  2. Christopher J. Neely & Paul A. Weller & Joshua M. Ulrich, 2007. "The adaptive markets hypothesis: evidence from the foreign exchange market," Working Papers 2006-046, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
  4. Laura Xiaolei Liu & Lu Zhang, 2011. "A Model of Momentum," NBER Working Papers 16747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Menkhoff, Lukas & Taylor, Mark P., 2006. "The Obstinate Passion of Foreign Exchange Professionals : Technical Analysis," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 769, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. Mark Grinblatt & Bing Han, 2001. "Prospect Theory, Mental Accounting, and Momentum," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2533, Yale School of Management, revised 01 May 2007.
  7. Benjamin Chabot & Eric Ghysels & Ravi Jagannathan, 2009. "Momentum Cycles and Limits to Arbitrage Evidence from Victorian England and Post-Depression US Stock Markets," NBER Working Papers 15591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andrei Shleifer ad Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "The Limits of Arbitrage," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1725, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Timothy C. Johnson, 2002. "Rational Momentum Effects," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 585-608, 04.
  10. Olson, Dennis, 2004. "Have trading rule profits in the currency markets declined over time?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-105, January.
  11. Roberto C. Gutierrez & Eric K. Kelley, 2008. "The Long-Lasting Momentum in Weekly Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(1), pages 415-447, 02.
  12. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2005. "What Matters for Financial Development? Capital Controls, Institutions, and Interactions," NBER Working Papers 11370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Sarno, Lucio & Schneider, Paul & Wagner, Christian, 2010. "Properties of Foreign Exchange Risk Premia," MPRA Paper 21302, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Lustig, H. & Verdelhan, A., 2006. "The Cross-Section of Foreign Currency Risk Premia and Consumption Growth Risk," Working papers 155, Banque de France.
  15. Gary B. Gorton & Fumio Hayashi & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2007. "The Fundamentals of Commodity Futures Returns," NBER Working Papers 13249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Serban, Alina F., 2010. "Combining mean reversion and momentum trading strategies in foreign exchange markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2720-2727, November.
  17. Gergana Jostova & Stanislava Nikolova & Alexander Philipov & Christof W. Stahel, 2013. "Momentum in Corporate Bond Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(7), pages 1649-1693.
  18. Pastor, Lubos & Stambaugh, Robert F., 2003. "Liquidity Risk and Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 642-685, June.
  19. Verardo, Michela, 2009. "Heterogeneous Beliefs and Momentum Profits," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(04), pages 795-822, August.
  20. A. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Isaac Kleshchelski & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2010. "Do Peso Problems Explain the Returns to the Carry Trade?," Working Papers 10-44, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  21. Darrell Duffie, 2010. "Presidential Address: Asset Price Dynamics with Slow-Moving Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(4), pages 1237-1267, 08.
  22. Eisdorfer, Assaf, 2008. "Delisted firms and momentum profits," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 160-179, May.
  23. Michael J. Cooper & Roberto C. Gutierrez & Allaudeen Hameed, 2004. "Market States and Momentum," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1345-1365, 06.
  24. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2007. "The Returns to Currency Speculation in Emerging Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 6148, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Mark Mitchell & Lasse Heje Pedersen & Todd Pulvino, 2007. "Slow Moving Capital," NBER Working Papers 12877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Robert A. Korajczyk & Ronnie Sadka, 2003. "Are Momentum Profits Robust to Trading Costs?," Finance 0308004, EconWPA.
  27. Tarun Chordia & Lakshmanan Shivakumar, 2002. "Momentum, Business Cycle, and Time-varying Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 985-1019, 04.
  28. Mark P. Taylor & Lucio Sarno, 2001. "Official Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market: Is It Effective and, If So, How Does It Work?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 839-868, September.
  29. K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 1998. "International Momentum Strategies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 267-284, 02.
  30. Harris, Richard D.F. & Yilmaz, Fatih, 2009. "A momentum trading strategy based on the low frequency component of the exchange rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1575-1585, September.
  31. Sarno, Lucio & Schneider, Paul & Wagner, Christian, 2011. "Properties of Foreign Exchange Risk Premiums," CEPR Discussion Papers 8503, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Doron Avramov & Tarun Chordia & Gergana Jostova & Alexander Philipov, 2007. "Momentum and Credit Rating," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2503-2520, October.
  33. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "Carry Trade and Momentum in Currency Markets," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 511-535, December.
  34. Nicholas Barberis & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "A Model of Investor Sentiment," NBER Working Papers 5926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
  36. Christopher J. Neely, 1998. "Technical analysis and the profitability of U.S. foreign exchange intervention," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 3-17.
  37. Christopher J. Neely, 2002. "The temporal pattern of trading rule returns and central bank intervention: intervention does not generate technical trading rule profits," Working Papers 2000-018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  38. Campbell R. Harvey & Akhtar Siddique, 2000. "Conditional Skewness in Asset Pricing Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1263-1295, 06.
  39. 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.
  40. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Isaac Kleshchelski & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "The Returns to Currency Speculation," 2006 Meeting Papers 864, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  41. Lukas Menkhoff & Lucio Sarno & Maik Schmeling & Andreas Schrimpf, 2012. "Carry Trades and Global Foreign Exchange Volatility," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(2), pages 681-718, 04.
  42. Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. " Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 65-91, March.
  43. Sagi, Jacob S. & Seasholes, Mark S., 2007. "Firm-specific attributes and the cross-section of momentum," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 389-434, May.
  44. Liu, Laura Xiaolei & Zhang, Lu, 2010. "Investment-Based Momentum Profits," Working Paper Series 2010-17, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  45. K. Rouwenhorst, 1998. "Local Return Factors and Turnover in Emerging Stock Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm97, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Mar 2001.
  46. Gebhardt, William R. & Hvidkjaer, Soeren & Swaminathan, Bhaskaran, 2005. "Stock and bond market interaction: Does momentum spill over?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 651-690, March.
  47. Gromb, Denis & Vayanos, Dimitri, 2010. "Limits of Arbitrage: The State of the Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 7738, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  48. Momtchil Pojarliev & Richard M. Levich, 2008. "Trades of the Living Dead: Style Differences, Style Persistence and Performance of Currency Fund Managers," NBER Working Papers 14355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Andy C.W. Chui & Sheridan Titman & K.C. John Wei, 2010. "Individualism and Momentum around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(1), pages 361-392, 02.
  50. Okunev, John & White, Derek, 2003. "Do Momentum-Based Strategies Still Work in Foreign Currency Markets?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 425-447, June.
  51. Q. Farooq Akram, & Dagfinn Rime & Lucio Sarno, 2005. "Arbitrage in the foreign exchange market: Turning on the microscope," Working Paper 2005/12, Norges Bank.
  52. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad & Stephan Siegel, 2007. "Global Growth Opportunities and Market Integration," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(3), pages 1081-1137, 06.
  53. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  54. Goyal, Amit & Saretto, Alessio, 2009. "Cross-section of option returns and volatility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 310-326, November.
  55. Chan, Louis K C & Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Lakonishok, Josef, 1996. " Momentum Strategies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1681-1713, December.
  56. Moskowitz, Tobias J. & Ooi, Yao Hua & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2012. "Time series momentum," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 228-250.
  57. Sweeney, Richard J, 1986. " Beating the Foreign Exchange Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(1), pages 163-82, March.
  58. Craig Burnside & Bing Han & David Hirshleifer & Tracy Yue Wang, 2010. "Investor Overconfidence and the Forward Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 15866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  59. Kent Daniel & David Hirshleifer & Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, 1998. "Investor Psychology and Security Market Under- and Overreactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1839-1885, December.
  60. Andrew J. Patton & Tarun Ramadorai, 2013. "On the High-Frequency Dynamics of Hedge Fund Risk Exposures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(2), pages 597-635, 04.
  61. Hanno Lustig & Nikolai Roussanov & Adrien Verdelhan, 2008. "Common Risk Factors in Currency Markets," NBER Working Papers 14082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  62. Lesmond, David A. & Schill, Michael J. & Zhou, Chunsheng, 2004. "The illusory nature of momentum profits," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 349-380, February.
  63. Neely, Christopher J. & Weller, Paul A., 1999. "Technical trading rules in the European Monetary System," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 429-458.
  64. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Forward and spot exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-338, November.
  65. Harrison Hong & Terence Lim & Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "Bad News Travels Slowly: Size, Analyst Coverage, and the Profitability of Momentum Strategies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 265-295, 02.
  66. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1996. " Multifactor Explanations of Asset Pricing Anomalies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 55-84, March.
  67. Narasimhan Jegadeesh, 2001. "Profitability of Momentum Strategies: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 699-720, 04.
  68. Harrison Hong & Jeremy C. Stein, 1999. "A Unified Theory of Underreaction, Momentum Trading, and Overreaction in Asset Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2143-2184, December.
  69. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2008. "Carry Trade: The Gains of Diversification," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 581-588, 04-05.
  70. Patton, Andrew J & Ramadorai, Tarun, 2010. "On the Dynamics of Hedge Fund Risk Exposures," CEPR Discussion Papers 7780, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  71. Michael R King & Dagfinn Rime, 2010. "The $4 trillion question: what explains FX growth since the 2007 survey?," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  72. Michael Melvin & Duncan Shand, 2010. "Active Currency Investing and Performance Benchmarks," CESifo Working Paper Series 3052, CESifo Group Munich.
  73. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel & Lasse H. Pedersen, 2009. "Carry Trades and Currency Crashes," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 313-347 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  74. Christopher J. Neely & Paul A. Weller, 2011. "Technical analysis in the foreign exchange market," Working Papers 2011-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  75. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
  76. John M. Griffin & Xiuqing Ji & J. Spencer Martin, 2003. "Momentum Investing and Business Cycle Risk: Evidence from Pole to Pole," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2515-2547, December.
  77. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2010. "Infrequent Portfolio Decisions: A Solution to the Forward Discount Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 870-904, June.
  78. Levich, Richard M. & Thomas, Lee III, 1993. "The significance of technical trading-rule profits in the foreign exchange market: a bootstrap approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 451-474, October.
  79. Michael R. King & Carol Osler & Dagfinn Rime, 2011. "Foreign exchange market structure, players and evolution," Working Paper 2011/10, Norges Bank.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:106:y:2012:i:3:p:660-684. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.