Three essays on the dynamic relationships between index futures and individual cash assets

  • Chun Kit Francis Lau

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    In a perfect market with no limit on arbitrage, the price movements or returns of an index futures contract must be perfectly and positively correlated with those of the underlying cash index and the component stocks of the index. However, transaction costs, capital limits and regulatory restrictions reduce arbitrage efficiency which is being revealed by a wealth of findings that index futures and the underlying cash assets do not move in perfect unison. It is an important issue to practitioners, exchange and regulatory authorities, and academics to understand which and how different market and idiosyncratic factors drive the dynamic temporal relationships between an index futures contract and the related individual cash assets. Chapter 1 of the thesis examines how and to what extent the sampling frequency for return calculation affects the intraday correlation and lead-lag relationship between index futures, the underlying cash index and individual cash assets. Chapter 2 tests how and to what extent index weight, liquidity, idiosyncratic information of a single cash stock, market conditions and regulatory restrictions affect the intraday correlation between the futures and individual cash asset. Following the line of argument in Chapter 2, Chapter 3 analyzes the impact of stock-specific and market factors on the intraday lead-lag relationship between the futures and single cash assets. The study deduces that stock-specific and market factors significantly affect the intraday dynamic relationship between index futures and individual cash assets and it is a phenomenon that could be explained by the optimal strategies adopted by index arbitrageurs.
    Date of Award20 Aug 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJoseph K W FUNG (Supervisor)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Stock index futures
    • Stock exchanges

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