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Forecasting Bitcoin Returns: Is there a Role for the U.S. – China Trade War?

Author

Listed:
  • Vasilios Plakandaras

    () (Department of Economics, Democritus University of Thrace, University Campus, Komotini, Greece)

  • Elie Bouri

    (USEK Business School, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon)

  • Rangan Gupta

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa)

Abstract

Previous studies provide evidence that trade related uncertainty tends to predict an increase in Bitcoin returns. In this paper, we extend the related literature by examining whether the information on the U.S. – China trade war can be used to forecast the future path of Bitcoin returns controlling for various explanatory variables. We apply ordinary least square (OLS) regression, support vector regression (SVR), and the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) techniques that stem from the field of machine learning, and find weak evidence of the role of the trade war in forecasting Bitcoin returns. Given that out-of-sample tests are more reliable than in-sample tests, our results tend to suggest that future Bitcoin returns are unaffected by trade related uncertainties, and investors can use Bitcoin as a safe haven in this context.

Suggested Citation

  • Vasilios Plakandaras & Elie Bouri & Rangan Gupta, 2019. "Forecasting Bitcoin Returns: Is there a Role for the U.S. – China Trade War?," Working Papers 201980, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:201980
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bitcoin; forecasting; machine learning; U.S. – China trade war;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation

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