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On the predictability of the distribution of excess returns in currency markets

Dooyeon Cho

International Journal of Forecasting, 2021, vol. 37, issue 2, 511-530

Abstract: This paper investigates the predictability of foreign exchange (FX) volatility and liquidity risk factors on returns to the carry trade, an investment strategy that borrows in currencies with low interest rates and invests in currencies with high interest rates. Previous studies have suggested that this predictability could have been spuriously accounted for due to the persistence of the predictors. The analysis uses a predictive quantile regression model developed by Lee (2016) that allows for persistent predictors. We find that predictability changes remarkably across the entire distribution of currency excess returns. Predictability weakens substantially in the left tail once persistence is accounted for, implying a moderate negative predictive relation between FX volatility risk and carry trade returns. By contrast, it becomes stronger in the right tail. Furthermore, we provide evidence that FX volatility risk still dominates liquidity risk after controlling for persistence. These findings suggest that the persistence of the predictors needs to be taken into account when one measures predictability in currency markets. Finally, out-of-sample forecast performance is also presented.

Keywords: Currency return predictability; FX volatility; Liquidity risk factors; Carry trade; Predictive quantile regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2020.07.003

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