Time-Varying Conditional Profitability of Momentum Strategies in Commodity Futures Market: Evidence from India

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Ritika Jaiswal
Rashmi Uchil



Manuscript type: Research paper

Research aim: This study aims to provide fresh evidence on the presence of momentum profitability in the Indian commodity futures market.

Design/Methodology/Approach: This study is based on a sample of highly traded commodity future contracts of the Indian commodity market over the period from 2006 to 2017. It applies the conditional multi-factor model to test the time-varying performance of momentum strategies.

Research findings: This study confirms the existence of exceptionally high abnormal momentum profitability in the commodity futures market despite the presence of transaction costs. However, the application of conditional multi-factor model suggests that momentum profits are basically time-varying. The low and insignificant correlation of momentum portfolios with stocks and bonds confirm that relative strength momentum portfolios of commodity futures can be effectively used to create a well-diversified portfolio.

Theoretical contribution/Originality: This study analyses the time-varying conditional profitability of momentum strategies for the commodity market of emerging economies such as India. It enriches the small group of studies conducted on commodity futures in the Indian context. The major contribution of the study is the use of conditional multi-factor model to assess the possible role of time-varying conditional alpha and beta to define the momentum payoffs in commodity futures market for the Indian context.

Policy implications: Policymakers should design more lucrative policies so as to attract the institutional investors for investment in the Indian commodity market. This is because domestic and foreign institutional investors are central to the enhancement and stability of the financial market.

Research implications/Limitations: The study uses the 13 highly traded commodity futures contract to design the momentum strategies. The robustness of the high abnormal returns given by these strategies can be investigated further by the use of extended study period and expanded cross section of commodity futures contract.


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