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Volatility Risk Premia and Exchange Rate Predictability

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  • Della Corte, Pasquale
  • Ramadorai, Tarun
  • Sarno, Lucio

Abstract

We investigate the predictive information content in foreign exchange volatility risk premia for exchange rate returns. The volatility risk premium is the difference between realized volatility and a model-free measure of expected volatility that is derived from currency options, and reflects the cost of insurance against volatility ‡fluctuations in the underlying currency. We find that a portfolio that sells currencies with high insurance costs and buys currencies with low insurance costs generates sizeable out-of-sample returns and Sharpe ratios. These returns are almost entirely obtained via predictability of spot exchange rates rather than interest rate differentials, and these predictable spot returns are far stronger than those from carry trade and momentum strategies. Canonical risk factors cannot price the returns from this strategy, which can be understood, however, in terms of a simple mechanism with time-varying limits to arbitrage.

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  • Della Corte, Pasquale & Ramadorai, Tarun & Sarno, Lucio, 2013. "Volatility Risk Premia and Exchange Rate Predictability," CEPR Discussion Papers 9549, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9549
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    3. Egbers, Tom & Swinkels, Laurens, 2015. "Can implied volatility predict returns on the currency carry trade?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 14-26.
    4. Huichou Huang & Lukas Menkhoff, 2018. "Global Positioning Risk and FX Trading Strategies," GRU Working Paper Series GRU_2018_020, City University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics and Finance, Global Research Unit.
    5. Ioannis N. Kallianiotis, 2016. "Factors Affecting the Exchange Rate Risk Premium," Journal of Applied Finance & Banking, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 6(6), pages 1-3.
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    9. José Renato Haas Ornelas, 2017. "Expected Currency Returns and Volatility Risk Premia," Working Papers Series 454, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
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    12. Funke, Michael & Loermann, Julius & Tsang, Andrew, 2017. "The information content in the offshore Renminbi foreign-exchange option market : Analytics and implied USD/CNH densities," BOFIT Discussion Papers 15/2017, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
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    19. Angelo Ranaldo & Fabricius Somogyi, 2018. "Heterogeneous Information Content of Global FX Trading," Working Papers on Finance 1820, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance, revised Apr 2019.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Exchange Rate; Hedgers; Order Flow; Predictability; Speculators; Volatility Risk Premium;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F37 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Finance Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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