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Carry Funding and Safe Haven Currencies: A Threshold Regression Approach

Listed author(s):
  • Oliver Hossfeld
  • Ronald MacDonald

In this paper, we analyze which currencies can be regarded as safe haven currencies. Our empirical approach allows us to distinguish between a low- and high stress regime, and to control for the impact of carry trade reversals and other fundamental determinants. We therefore address the question of whether a supposed safe haven currency only appreciates in times of crises because carry trades are unwound, in which the corresponding currency has served as funding currency, or whether it possesses "true" safe haven qualities; i.e. it provides a hedge against global stock market losses in stressful times even after controlling for the impact of carry trade reversals. The latter issue has largely been brushed aside in the extant literature but has important policy implications for the justification of central bank FX interventions in times of crises. According to the estimation results, two currencies, the Swiss franc and (to a lesser extent) the US dollar qualify as safe haven currencies, and the euro serves as a hedge currency. Results for the yen support its role as a carry funding vehicle, but not necessarily that of a safe haven currency. While the focus is on effective exchange rates, the paper also contains a separate analysis of bilateral euro-based exchange rates, given the euro’s prominent role during the euro area sovereign debt crisis.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 5117.

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Date of creation: 2014
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5117
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  3. 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.
  4. Engel, Charles, 2014. "Exchange Rates and Interest Parity," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
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  7. Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy & Nelson C. Mark & Donggyu Sul & Jyh-Lin Wu, 2012. "Exchange Rates as Exchange Rate Common Factors," Working Papers 212012, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
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  10. 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.
  11. Dirk G. Baur & Thomas K.J. McDermott, 2011. "Safe Haven Assets and Investor Behaviour Under Uncertainty," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp392, IIIS, revised Feb 2012.
  12. Masazumi Hattori & Hyun Song Shin, 2009. "Yen Carry Trade and the Subprime Crisis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(2), pages 384-409, June.
  13. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Chinn, Menzie D. & Fujii, Eiji, 2007. "The overvaluation of Renminbi undervaluation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 762-785, September.
  14. Arnaud Mehl & Lorenzo Cappiello, 2009. "Uncovered Interest Parity at Long Horizons: Evidence on Emerging Economies ," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(5), pages 1019-1037, November.
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  16. Habib, Maurizio M. & Stracca, Livio, 2012. "Getting beyond carry trade: What makes a safe haven currency?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 50-64.
  17. Stephanie Curcuru & Clara Vega & Jasper Hoek, 2011. "Measuring carry trade activity," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Initiatives to address data gaps revealed by the financial crisis", Basel, 25-26 August 2010, volume 34, pages 436-453 Bank for International Settlements.
  18. 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.
  19. Menzie D. Chinn & Guy Meredith, 2005. "Testing Uncovered Interest Parity at Short and Long Horizons during the Post-Bretton Woods Era," NBER Working Papers 11077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Joseph E. Gagnon & Alain P. Chaboud, 2007. "What can the data tell us about carry trades in Japanese yen?," International Finance Discussion Papers 899, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2006. "Confidence Intervals for Diffusion Index Forecasts and Inference for Factor-Augmented Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 1133-1150, 07.
  22. Cappiello, Lorenzo & De Santis, Roberto A., 2005. "Explaining exchange rate dynamics: the uncovered equity return parity condition," Working Paper Series 529, European Central Bank.
  23. Jacob Gyntelberg & Andreas Schrimpf, 2011. "FX strategies in periods of distress," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
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