Internationally Diversified Bond Portfolios: The Merits of Active Currency Risk Management
Richard M. Levich, Lee R. Thomas
NBER Working Paper No. 4340 (Also Reprint No. r1861)
A new statistical procedure is used to test for weak form efficiency in the foreign exchange futures markets. Using daily currency futures prices for the 1976-1990 period, we conclude that successive exchange rate changes have not been independent We examine the implications of this finding for two groups of investors: (1) return seeking investors considering foreign exchange as a separate asset class; (2) international portfolio investors deciding whether or not to currency hedge the foreign exchange rate exposures embedded in their non-dollar investments. Using the currency futures data and monthly data on 10-year dollar and non-dollar bonds, we conclude that active currency risk management, based on a simple application of technical trading signals, can substantially improve the risk-return opportunities for both groups of investors in comparison to passive currency strategies.
Published: Financial Analysts Journal, vol. 49, 1993, pp.63-70.