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Principles of Futures Contract Pricing The expectations hypothesis Normal backwardation A full carrying charge market Reconciling the three theories.

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Presentation on theme: "Principles of Futures Contract Pricing The expectations hypothesis Normal backwardation A full carrying charge market Reconciling the three theories."— Presentation transcript:

1 Principles of Futures Contract Pricing The expectations hypothesis Normal backwardation A full carrying charge market Reconciling the three theories

2 The Expectations Hypothesis The expectations hypothesis states that the futures price for a commodity is what the marketplace expects the cash price to be when the delivery month arrives – Price discovery is an important function performed by futures There is considerable evidence that the expectations hypothesis is a good predictor

3 Normal Backwardation Basis is the difference between the future price of a commodity and the current cash price – Normally, the futures price exceeds the cash price (contango market) – The futures price may be less than the cash price (backwardation or inverted market)

4 Normal Backwardation (cont’d) John Maynard Keynes: – Locking in a future price that is acceptable eliminates price risk for the hedger – The speculator must be rewarded for taking the risk that the hedger was unwilling to bear  Thus, at delivery, the cash price will likely be somewhat higher than the price predicated by the futures market

5 A Full Carrying Charge Market A full carrying charge market occurs when the futures price reflects the cost of storing and financing the commodity until the delivery month The futures price is equal to the current spot price plus the carrying charge:

6 A Full Carrying Charge Market (cont’d) Arbitrage exists if someone can buy a commodity, store it at a known cost, and get someone to promise to buy it later at a price that exceeds the cost of storage In a full carrying charge market, the basis cannot weaken because that would produce an arbitrage situation

7 Reconciling the Three Theories The expectations hypothesis says that a futures price is simply the expected cash price at the delivery date of the futures contract People know about storage costs and other costs of carry (insurance, interest, etc.) and we would not expect these costs to surprise the market Because the hedger is really obtaining price insurance with futures, it is logical that there be some cost to the insurance

8 Spreading with Futures Intercommodity spreads Intracommodity spreads Why spread in the first place?

9 Intercommodity Spreads An intercommodity spread is a long and short position in two related commodities – E.g., a speculator might feel that the price of corn is too low relative to the price of live cattle – Risky because there is no assurance that your hunch will be correct With an intermarket spread, a speculator takes opposite positions in two different markets – E.g., trades on both the Chicago Board of Trade and on the Kansas City Board of Trade

10 Intracommodity Spreads An intracommodity spread (intermonth spread) involves taking different positions in different delivery months, but in the same commodity – E.g., a speculator bullish on what might buy September and sell December

11 Why Spread in the First Place? Most intracommodity spreads are basis plays Intercommodity spreads are closer to two separate speculative positions than to a spread in the stock option sense Intermarket spreads are really arbitrage plays based on discrepancies in transportation costs or other administrative costs

12 Pricing of Stock Index Futures Elements affecting the price of a futures contract Determining the fair value of a futures contract Synthetic index portfolios

13 Elements Affecting the Price of A Futures Contract The S&P 500 futures value depends on four elements: – The level of the spot index – The dividend yield on the 500 stock in the index – The current level of interest rates – The time until final contract cash settlement

14 Elements Affecting the Price of A Futures Contract (cont’d) S&P 500 Stock Index Futures SPX Index T-bill Rate Time until Settlement SPX Dividend Yield

15 Elements Affecting the Price of A Futures Contract (cont’d) Stocks pay dividends, while futures do not pay dividends – Shows up as a price differential in the futures price/underlying asset relationship Stocks do not accrue interest Posting margin for futures results in interest – Shows up as a price differential in the futures price/underlying asset relationship

16 Determining the Fair Value of A Futures Contract The futures price should equal the index plus a differential based on the short-term interest rate minus the dividend yield:

17 Determining the Fair Value of A Futures Contract (cont’d) Calculating the Fair Value of A Futures Contract Example Assume the following information for an S&P 500 futures contract:  Current level of the cash index (S) = 1,  T-bill yield ® = 6.07%  S&P 500 dividend yield (D) = 1.10%  Days until December settlement (T) = 121 = 0.33 years

18 Determining the Fair Value of A Futures Contract (cont’d) Calculating the Fair Value of A Futures Contract Example The fair value of the S&P 500 futures contract is:

19 Synthetic Index Portfolios Large institutional investors can replicate a well- diversified portfolio of common stock by holding – A long position in the stock index futures contract and – Satisfying the margin requirement with T-bills The resulting portfolio is a synthetic index portfolio The futures approach has the following advantages over the purchase of individual stocks: – Transaction costs will be much lower on the futures contracts – The portfolio will be much easier to follow and manage Basic Convergence : As time passes, the difference between the cash index and the futures price will narrow – At the end of the futures contract, the futures price will equal the index (basic convergence)

20 Interest Rate Futures Exist across the yield curve and on many different types of interest rates – T-bond contracts – Eurodollar (ED) futures contracts – 30-day Federal funds contracts – Other Treasury contracts

21 Characteristics of U.S. Treasury Bills Sell at a discount from par using a 360-day year and twelve 30-day months 91-day (13-week) and 182-day (26-week) T- bills are sold at a weekly auction

22 Characteristics of U.S. Treasury Bills (cont’d) Treasury Bill Auction Results TermIssue DateAuction Date Discount Rate % Investment Rate % Price Per $ week week week week week week

23 Characteristics of U.S. Treasury Bills (cont’d) The “Discount Rate %” is the discount yield, calculated as:

24 Characteristics of U.S. Treasury Bills (cont’d) Discount Yield Computation Example For the first T-bill in the table on slide 6, the discount yield is:

25 Characteristics of U.S. Treasury Bills (cont’d) The discount yield relates the income to the par value rather than to the price paid and uses a 360-day year rather than a 365-day year – Calculate the “Investment Rate %” (bond equivalent yield):

26 Characteristics of U.S. Treasury Bills (cont’d) Bond Equivalent Yield Computation Example For the first T-bill in the table on slide 6, the bond equivalent yield is:

27 The Treasury Bill Futures Contract Treasury bill futures contracts call for the delivery of $1 million par value of 91-day T-bills on the delivery date of the futures contract – On the day the Treasury bills are delivered, they mature in 91 days

28 The Treasury Bill Futures Contract (cont’d) Futures position 91-day T-bill T-bill established delivered matures 91 days Time

29 The Treasury Bill Futures Contract (cont’d) T-Bill Futures Quotations September 15, 2000 OpenHighLowSettleChangeSettleChangeOpen Interest Sept ,311 Dec ,083

30 Characteristics of Eurodollars Applies to any U.S. dollar deposited in a commercial bank outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board Banks may prefer eurodollar deposits to domestic deposits because: – They are not subject to reserve requirement restrictions – Every ED received by a bank can be reinvested somewhere else

31 The Eurodollar Futures Contract The underlying asset with a eurodollar futures contract is a three-month, $1 million face value instrument – A non-transferable time deposit rather than a security The ED futures contract is cash settled with no actual delivery

32 The Eurodollar Futures Contract (cont’d) Treasury Bill vs Eurodollar Futures Treasury BillsEurodollars Deliverable underlying commodityUndeliverable underlying commodity Settled by deliverySettled by cash TransferableNon-transferable Yield quoted on discount basisYield quoted on add-on basis Maturities out to one yearMaturities out to 10 years One tick is $25

33 The Eurodollar Futures Contract (cont’d) The quoted yield with eurodollars is an add- on yield For a given discount, the add-on yield will exceed the corresponding discount yield:

34 The Eurodollar Futures Contract (cont’d) Add-On Yield Computation Example An add-on yield of 1.24% corresponds to a discount of $3,124.66:

35 The Eurodollar Futures Contract (cont’d) Add-On Yield Computation Example (cont’d) If a $1 million Treasury bill sold for a discount of $3, we would determine a discount yield of 1.236%:

36 Speculating With Eurodollar Futures The price of a fixed income security moves inversely with market interest rates Industry practice is to compute futures price changes by using 90 days until expiration

37 Speculating With Eurodollar Futures (cont’d) Speculation Example Assume a speculator purchased a MAR 05 ED futures contract at a price of The ED futures contract has a face value of $1 million. Suppose the discount yield at the time of purchase was 2.74%. In the middle of March 2005, interest rates have risen to 7.00%. What is the speculator’s dollar gain or loss?

38 Speculating With Eurodollar Futures (cont’d) Speculation Example (cont’d) The initial price is:

39 Speculating With Eurodollar Futures (cont’d) Speculation Example (cont’d) The price with the new interest rate of 7.00% is:

40 Speculating With Eurodollar Futures (cont’d) Speculation Example (cont’d) The speculator’s dollar loss is therefore:

41 Hedging With Eurodollar Futures Using the futures market, hedgers can lock in the current interest rate

42 Hedging With Eurodollar Futures (cont’d) Hedging Example Assume you are a portfolio managers for a university’s endowment fund which will receive $10 million in 3 months. You would like to invest the money now, as you think interest rates are going to decline. Because you want a money market investment, you establish a long hedge in eurodollar futures. Using the figures from the earlier example, you are promising to pay $993, for $1 million in eurodollars if you buy a futures contract at Using the $10 million figure, you decide to buy 10 MAR ED futures, promising to pay $9,969,000.

43 Hedging With Eurodollar Futures (cont’d) Hedging Example (cont’d) When you receive the $10 million in three months, assume interest rate have fallen to 1.00%. $10 million in T-bills would then cost: This is $6,000 more than the price at the time you established the hedge.

44 Hedging With Eurodollar Futures (cont’d) Hedging Example (cont’d) In the futures market, you have a gain that will offset the increased purchase price. When you close out the futures positions, you will sell your contracts for $6,000 more than you paid for them.

45 Treasury Bonds and Their Futures Contracts Characteristics of U.S. Treasury bonds Pricing of Treasury bonds The Treasury bond futures contract Dealing with coupon differences The matter of accrued interest Delivery procedures The invoice price Cheapest to deliver

46 Characteristics of U.S. Treasury Bonds Very similar to corporate bonds: – Pay semiannual interest – Have a maturity of up to 30 years – Are readily traded in the capital markets Different from Treasury notes: – Notes have a life of less than ten years – Some T-bonds may be callable fifteen years after issuance

47 Characteristics of U.S. Treasury Bonds (cont’d) Bonds are identified by: – The issuer – The coupon – The year of maturity E.g., “U.S. government six and a quarters of 23” means Treasury bonds with a 6¼% coupon rate that mature in 2023

48 Dealing With Coupon Differences To standardize the $100,000 face value T-bond contract traded on the Chicago Board of Trade, a conversion factor is used to convert all deliverable bonds to bonds yielding 6%

49 Dealing With Coupon Differences (cont’d)

50 Cheapest to Deliver Normally, only one bond eligible for delivery will be cheapest to deliver A hedger will collect information on all the deliverable bonds and select the one most advantageous to deliver


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