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Gauging the Safehavenness of Currencies

Alfred Wong and Tom Fong ()
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Alfred Wong: Hong Kong Monetary Authority

No 132013, Working Papers from Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research

Abstract: This study assesses the 'safehavenness' of a number of currencies with a view to providing a better understanding of how capital flows tend to react to sharp increases in global risk aversion during periods of financial crisis. It focuses on how currencies are perceived by dollar-based international investors or, more specifically, whether they are seen as safe-haven or risky currencies. To assess the 'safehavenness' of a currency, we use a measure of risk reversal, which is the price difference between a call and put option of a currency. This measures how disproportionately market participants are willing to pay to hedge against appreciation or depreciation of the currency. The relationship between the risk reversal of a currency and global risk aversion is estimated by means of both parametric and non-parametric regressions which allow us to capture the relationship in times of extreme adversity, i.e., tail risk. Our empirical results suggest that the Japanese yen and, to a lesser extent, the Hong Kong dollar are the only safe haven currencies under stressful conditions out of 34 currencies vis-a-vis the US dollar.

Keywords: Safe Haven Currency; Risk Reversal; Quantile Regression; Mixture Vector Autoregressive Models; Tail Risk; Crash Risk (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2013-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ifn, nep-mon and nep-rmg
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

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