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The information content of forward and futures prices: market expectations and the price of risk

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  • Sergey V. Chernenko

Abstract

Forward and futures rates are frequently used as measures of market expectations. In this paper we apply standard forecast efficiency tests, and some newer exact sign and rank tests, to a wide range of forward and futures rates, and in this way test whether these are in fact rational expectations of future actual prices. The forward and futures rates that we study under a common methodology include foreign exchange forward rates, U.S. and foreign interest rate futures and forward rates, oil futures and natural gas futures. For most, but not all, of these instruments, we find that we can reject the hypothesis that the forward or futures rates are rational expectations of actual future prices. It is well known that foreign exchange forward rates give less accurate forecasts than a random walk, but we show that this is also true for some interest rate futures and forward rates. We conclude that forward and futures prices are not generally pure measures of market expectations: they are also heavily affected by the market price of risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Sergey V. Chernenko, 2004. "The information content of forward and futures prices: market expectations and the price of risk," International Finance Discussion Papers 808, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:808
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey A Frankel & Andrew K Rose, 2010. "Determinants of Agricultural and Mineral Commodity Prices," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Renée Fry & Callum Jones & Christopher Kent (ed.), Inflation in an Era of Relative Price Shocks Reserve Bank of Australia.
    2. Reitz Stefan & Rülke Jan-Christoph & Stadtmann Georg, 2010. "Regressive Oil Price Expectations Toward More Fundamental Values of the Oil Price," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(4), pages 454-466, August.
    3. Pagano Patrizio & Pisani Massimiliano, 2009. "Risk-Adjusted Forecasts of Oil Prices," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-28, June.
    4. Fatum, Rasmus & Scholnick, Barry, 2008. "Monetary policy news and exchange rate responses: Do only surprises matter?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1076-1086, June.
    5. Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2008. "Efficient forecast tests for conditional policy forecasts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 293-303, October.
    6. Raj Aggarwal & Brian M. Lucey & Sunil K. Mohanty, 2006. "The Forward Exchange Rate Bias Puzzle: Evidence from New Cointegration Tests," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp123, IIIS.
    7. Giliola Frey & Matteo Manera & Anil Markandya & Elisa Scarpa, 2009. "Econometric Models for Oil Price Forecasting: A Critical Survey," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(1), pages 29-44, April.
    8. Ehnts, Dirk & Carrión Álvarez, Miguel, 2013. "The theory of reflexivity: A non-stochastic randomness theory for business schools only?," IPE Working Papers 28/2013, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    9. Chen, Shyh-Wei & Lin, Shih-Mo, 2014. "Non-linear dynamics in international resource markets: Evidence from regime switching approach," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 233-247.
    10. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2014. "Effects of speculation and interest rates in a “carry trade” model of commodity prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 88-112.
    11. Elif C. Arbatli, 2008. "Futures Markets, Oil Prices and the Intertemporal Approach to the Current Account," Staff Working Papers 08-48, Bank of Canada.
    12. Fernandez, Viviana, 2017. "A historical perspective of the informational content of commodity futures," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 135-150.
    13. Ai Han & Yanan He & Yongmiao Hong & Shouyang Wang, 2013. "Forecasting Interval-valued Crude Oil Prices via Autoregressive Conditional Interval Models," WISE Working Papers 2013-10-14, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.
    14. Andrea Monticini & Giacomo Vaciago, 2007. "Are Euro Interest Rates led by FED Announcements?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 16, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.

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    Keywords

    Interest rate futures ; Markets;

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