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Time Variation in the Tail Behaviour of Bund Futures Returns

  • Upper, Christian
  • Werner, Thomas

The literature on the tail behaviour of asset prices focuses mainly on the foreign exchange and stock markets, with only a few papers dealing with bonds or bond futures. The present paper addresses this omission. We focus on three questions: (i) Are heavy tails a relevant feature of the distribution of BUND futures returns? (ii) Is the tail behaviour constant over time? (iii) If it is not, can we use the tail index as an indicator for financial market risk and does it add value in addition to classical indicators? The answers to these questions are (i) yes, (ii) no, and (iii) yes. We find significant heaviness of the tails of the Bund future returns. The tail index is on average around 3, implying the nonexistence of the forth moments. With the aid of a recently developed test for changes in the tail behaviour we identify several breaks in the degree of heaviness of the return tails. Interestingly, the tails of the return distribution do not move in parallel to realised volatility. This suggests that the tails of futures returns contain information for risk management that complements those gained from more standard statistical measures.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2002,25.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:4190
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  1. Chris Brooks & Simon P. Burke & Gita Persand, 2002. "Augoregressive Conditional Kurtosis," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2002-05, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  2. Cotter, John, 2001. "Margin exceedences for European stock index futures using extreme value theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1475-1502, August.
  3. Caers, Jef & Beirlant, Jan & Vynckier, Petra, 1998. "Bootstrap confidence intervals for tail indices," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 259-277, January.
  4. Andersen T. G & Bollerslev T. & Diebold F. X & Labys P., 2001. "The Distribution of Realized Exchange Rate Volatility," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 42-55, March.
  5. Thomas Lux, 2001. "The limiting extremal behaviour of speculative returns: an analysis of intra-daily data from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 299-315.
  6. Kim, Jeong-Ryeol, 2002. "The stable long-run CAPM and the cross-section of expected returns," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2002,05, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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