Are price limits on futures markets that cool?: evidence from the Brazilian Mercantile and Futures Exchange
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This paper investigates the impact of price limits on the Brazilian futures 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 S˜ao Paulo stock index futures traded on the Brazilian Mercantile and Futures Exchange from January 1997 to December 1999. The results indicate that the conditional mean features a floor cool-off effect, whereas the conditional variance significantly increases as the price approaches the upper limit. We then build a trading strategy that accounts for the cool-off effect in the conditional mean so as to demonstrate that the latter has not only statistical, but also economic significance. The in-sample Sharpe ratio indeed is way superior to the buy-and-hold benchmarks we consider, whereas out-of-sample results evince similar performances.