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Skewness, basis risk, and optimal futures demand

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  • Barbi, Massimiliano
  • Romagnoli, Silvia

Abstract

We propose a maximum-expected utility hedging model with futures where cash and futures returns follow a bivariate skew-normal distribution, such to consider the effect of skewness on the optimal futures demand. Relative to the benchmark of bivariate normality, skewness has a material impact when the agent is significantly risk averse. Pure hedging demand is either greater or smaller than minimum-variance demand, depending on the relative skewness of cash and futures positions. The difference between pure hedging and minimum-variance demand increases with basis risk, i.e. the imperfect correlation between cash and futures returns. When the agent is moderately but not infinitely risk averse, there is room for speculative positions, and the optimal futures demand is driven by both basis risk and the expected return on the futures market.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbi, Massimiliano & Romagnoli, Silvia, 2018. "Skewness, basis risk, and optimal futures demand," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 14-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:58:y:2018:i:c:p:14-29
    DOI: 10.1016/j.iref.2018.02.021
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    1. Martínez, Beatriz & Torró, Hipòlit, 2018. "Analysis of risk premium in UK natural gas futures," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 621-636.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal hedging; Skew-normal distribution; Basis risk;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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