Are price limits on futures markets that cool? evidence from the brazilian merchantile & futures exchange
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This paper investigates the impact of price limits on the Brazil- ian future markets using high frequency data. The aim is to identify whether there is a cool-off or a magnet effect. For that purpose, we examine a tick-by-tick data set that includes all contracts on the São Paulo stock index futures traded on the Brazilian Mercantile and Futures Exchange from January 1997 to December 1999. Our main finding is that price limits drive back prices as they approach the lower limit. There is a strong cool-off effect of the lower limit on the conditional mean, whereas the upper limit seems to entail a weak magnet effect on the conditional variance. We then build a trading strategy that accounts for the cool-off effect so as to demonstrate that the latter has not only statistical, but also economic signifi- cance. The resulting Sharpe ratio indeed is way superior to the buy-and-hold benchmarks we consider.