A new look at the forward premium “puzzle”

Authors

  • Haitham A. Al-Zoubi

    Corresponding author
    1. Associate Professor of Finance, United Arab Emirates University
    • Department of Economics and Finance, United Arab Emirates University, 17555, Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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  • We are very grateful to Herman Bierens and Gerald Whitney for their comments and suggestions.

Abstract

We decompose the spot and forward rates into (permanent) nonlinear trend components and (transitory) stationary components. We examine the unbiasedness of the permanent (transitory) component of the forward rate in predicting the permanent (transitory) component of its corresponding future spot rate. The transitory component of the future spot rate under reacts to the transitory component of the forward rate. However, the permanent component of the forward rate is an unbiased predictor of the permanent component of the future spot rate. A robust nonlinear cotrending relation is also found between the forward and future spot rates and the hypothesis of the forward-rate unbiasedness is sustained in the long run. These results suggest that the forward rate better explains the long-term behavior of the future spot rate. Simulation analysis shows that if the transitory component of the forward rate fully predicts the transitory component of the future spot rate, the forward premium puzzle disappears. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 31:599–628, 2011

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