Currency Futures' Risk Premia and Risk Factors

Discussion Papers 1866, 40 S.

Kerstin Bernoth, Jürgen von Hagen, Casper G. de Vries


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The use of futures exchange contracts instead of forwards completes the maturity spectrum of the correlation between the spot yield and the premium. We find that the forward premium puzzle (FFP) depends significantly on the maturity horizon of the futures contract and the choice of sampling period. The FFP appears to be a pre-crisis phenomenon and is only observed for maturities longer than about one month. When examining whether the observed excess returns of futures contracts represent a fair compensation for currency risk, we find that non-durable consumption risk and market risk can explain excess currency returns. But only in the pre-crisis period and when the maturity of the assets is longer than about three months.

Kerstin Bernoth

Deputy Head of Department in the Macroeconomics Department

JEL-Classification: F31;F37;G12;G13;G15
Keywords: Forward premium puzzle, uncovered interest parity, futures rates, risk premium, currency excess returns, capital asset pricing model