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Profiting from Mean-Reverting Yield Curve Trading Strategies

Author

Listed:
  • Krishna Ramaswamy
  • Choong-Tze Chua
  • Winston T.H. Koh

Abstract

A large class of fixed income trading strategies focuses on opportunities offered by the interest rate term structure. This paper studies a set of yield curve trading strategies that are based on the view that the yield curve mean-reverts to an unconditional curve. These mean-reverting trading strategies exploit deviations in the level, slope and curvature of the yield curve from historical norms. We consider cash-neutral trades with one-month holding periods. Some mean-reverting strategies were found to be highly profitable, and outperform, on a risk-adjusted basis before transaction costs, alternative strategies of an investment in the Lehman Brothers Bond index (by up to 5.9 times) and an investment in the S&P index (by up to 5.1 times). Even after accounting for transaction costs, some of these strategies are still significantly more profitable than the benchmarks. Furthermore, transaction costs can be reduced substantially by changing the trading frequency or through structured derivative trades. We found evidence that market efficiency has improved, and the scope for excess returns has diminished since the late 1980s

Suggested Citation

  • Krishna Ramaswamy & Choong-Tze Chua & Winston T.H. Koh, 2004. "Profiting from Mean-Reverting Yield Curve Trading Strategies," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 142, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:142
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    File URL: http://repec.org/esAUSM04/up.26942.1077618668.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1986. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 211-228.
    4. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "A Re-examination of Traditional Hypotheses about the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 769-799, September.
    5. Drakos, Konstantinos, 2001. "Fixed income excess returns and time to maturity," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 431-442.
    6. John C. Cox & Jonathan E. Ingersoll Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 2005. "A Theory Of The Term Structure Of Interest Rates," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 5, pages 129-164 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    8. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", pages 125-132.
    9. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Bertola, Giuseppe & Foresi, Silverio, 1997. "A model of target changes and the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 223-249, July.
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    11. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
    12. Pelaez, Rolando F., 1997. "Riding the yield curve: Term premiums and excess returns," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 113-119.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lenz, Rainer, 2010. "Analyse der Renditestrukturkurve: Zur Laufzeitenstruktur von Investitions- und Finanzierungsentscheidungen
      [Yield curve analysis]
      ," MPRA Paper 26621, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Yash Sharma, 2017. "Using Macroeconomic Forecasts to Improve Mean Reverting Trading Strategies," Papers 1705.08022, arXiv.org.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    yield curve; fixed income trading; market efficiency; Treasury bonds;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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