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Pairs trading with a mean-reverting jump–diffusion model on high-frequency data

Johannes Stübinger and Sylvia Endres

Quantitative Finance, 2018, vol. 18, issue 10, 1735-1751

Abstract: This paper develops a pairs trading framework based on a mean-reverting jump–diffusion model and applies it to minute-by-minute data of the S&P 500 oil companies from 1998 to 2015. The established statistical arbitrage strategy enables us to perform intraday and overnight trading. Essentially, we conduct a three-step calibration procedure to the spreads of all pair combinations in a formation period. Top pairs are selected based on their spreads’ mean-reversion speed and jump behaviour. Afterwards, we trade the top pairs in an out-of-sample trading period with individualized entry and exit thresholds. In the back-testing study, the strategy produces statistically and economically significant returns of 60.61% p.a. and an annualized Sharpe ratio of 5.30, after transaction costs. We benchmark our pairs trading strategy against variants based on traditional distance and time-series approaches and find its performance to be superior relating to risk–return characteristics. The mean-reversion speed is a main driver of successful and fast termination of the pairs trading strategy.

Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1080/14697688.2017.1417624

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