One-period expected returns on futures contracts with different maturities differ because of risk premia in the spreads between futures and spot prices. We analyze the expected returns for futures contracts with different maturities using the information that is present in the current term structure of futures prices. A simple affine one-factor model that implies a constant covariance between the pricing kernel and the cost-of-carry cannot be rejected for heating oil and German Mark futures contracts. For gold and soybean futures, the risk premia depend on the slope of the current term structure of futures prices, while for live cattle futures, the evidence is mixed.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
|Published - 1 Mar 1998