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Looking at the Other Side of Carry Trades: Are there any Safe Haven Currencies?

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  • Virginie Coudert
  • Cyriac Guillaumin
  • Hélene Raymond

Abstract

We define “safe haven currencies” as those able to yield positive excess returns during crises and show that they are likely to have negative risk premia on the long-run. We try to identify them empirically by considering a sample of 26 currencies from advanced and emerging countries over a period spanning from 1999 to 2013. We first spot the currencies yielding negative mean excess returns over the long run and positive ones during crises; only the Japanese yen (JPY) and the US dollar (USD) meet these conditions. Second, we run a smooth transition regression (STR) of the Fama equation, in which we add the VIX as an explanatory and a transition variable, in order to capture the response of exchange rates over the global fi nancial cycle. The results also point out to the USD and the JPY as the only candidates for a safe haven role; despite its long-run appreciation trend, the Swiss franc does not qualify for this role, as it tends to follow the downward movement of the euro during the recent financial turmoil.

Suggested Citation

  • Virginie Coudert & Cyriac Guillaumin & Hélene Raymond, 2014. "Looking at the Other Side of Carry Trades: Are there any Safe Haven Currencies?," Working Papers 2014-03, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2014-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jimfin:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:189-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fatum, Rasmus & Yamamoto, Yohei, 2014. "Intra-safe haven currency behavior during the global financial crisis," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 199, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    3. Fatum, Rasmus & Yamamoto, Yohei, 2016. "Intra-safe haven currency behavior during the global financial crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 49-64.
    4. Rasmus Fatum & Yohei Yamamoto & Guozhong Zhu, "undated". "Is the Renminbi a Safe Haven?," Working Papers e109, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    5. repec:eee:glofin:v:35:y:2018:i:c:p:82-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fatum, Rasmus & Yamamoto, Yohei & Zhu, Guozhong, 2017. "Is the Renminbi a safe haven?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 189-202.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Carry trades; Safe haven; Safe haven currencies; Fama equation; Financial cycle; Smooth transition regression models;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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