Trend-following and momentum strategies in futures markets

OMI Seminar Series

Constructing a time-series momentum strategy involves the volatility-adjusted aggregation of univariate strategies and therefore relies heavily on the efficiency of the volatility estimator and on the quality of the momentum trading signal. Using a dataset with intra-day quotes of 12 futures contracts from November 1999 to October 2009, we investigate these dependencies and their relation to timeseries momentum profitability and reach a number of novel findings. First, momentum trading signals generated by fitting a linear trend on the asset price path maximise the out-of-sample performance while minimizing the portfolio turnover, hence dominating the ordinary momentum trading signal in literature, the sign of past return. Second, the results show strong momentum patterns at the monthly frequency of rebalancing, relatively strong momentum patterns at the weekly frequency and relatively weak momentum patterns at the daily frequency. In fact, significant reversal effects are documented at the very short-term horizon. Finally, regarding the volatility-adjusted aggregation of univariate strategies, the Yang-Zhang range estimator constitutes the optimal choice for volatility estimation in terms of maximizing efficiency and minimizing the bias and the ex-post portfolio turnover.


Co-authored by Akindynos-Nikolaos Baltas


Robert Kosowski (Imperial)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 14:15
to 15:15