JC Cacho Futcenter

Forex Trading

Pairs Trading Basics: Correlation, Cointegration And Strategy

pair trading strategies

We worked with the time series data and the financial ratios separately. We imputed both of them using means, although in a slightly different way. For the time series data of stock prices, missing values were replaced by the mean of all the available stock prices for that stock in the training period. Since the financial ratios individually have different bounds we imputed missing values in the financial ratios dataset with the average of all available data for the particular ratio.

  • We worked with the time series data and the financial ratios separately.
  • Another example is that your pairs trade might only work during volatile periods.
  • Relying on the historical notion that the two securities will maintain a specified correlation, the pairs trade can be deployed when this correlation falters.
  • For finding out the co-integration, Augmented-Dickey Fuller Test is used.
  • If the markets move sharply lower, chances are you’ll make up for the loss on the long leg of the pairs trade with the gain made on the short leg.

Pairs selected in this method possess econometrically more reliable equilibrium relationships. Is this case, you are betting that the 2 assets will become increasingly different from each other as time goes by. Thousands of hedge funds are scouring the face of the earth to find pairs that work. I do believe that in general, it is easier to find non-stock assets that move similarly. If you look ahead in the graph to spot a profitable exit, and only decide to enter your trade because of that, your trades are biased.

Returning to an old strategy feels nice, but making more money the second-time around feels even better.

For example, the US Dollar and Hong Kong Dollar are pegged and essentially untradeable, but the Dow Industrials and Hang Seng can still be paired. Most countries around the world have an index​​ that details the largest companies on their national stock exchange. Traders who think that one country may outperform another may go long on one index and short another. Index pairing can be particularly useful where currency trading is unavailable. This relates to both pairs between stocks in the same sector, and pairs between stocks in related sectors.

3 Out of the Box Penny Stocks Trading Strategies to Use in 2023 – Penny Stocks

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These programs are designed to simultaneously work each side for the trader, particularly for larger orders, in an attempt to hit a pre-specified price ratio. For most traders, such programs are more of a convenience than a necessity because the slippage that occurs during execution is minimal relative to the profit objective of the overall trade. The first and foremost step of creating a pairs trading strategy is the co-integration of the pair.

Quantitative Finance > Portfolio Management

Below we write a simple loop to to score window lengths based on pnl of training data and find the best one. Before ending the discussion, we’d like to give special mention to overfitting. An overfit algorithm may perform wonderfully on a backtest but fails miserably on new unseen data — this mean it has not really uncovered any trend in data and no real predictive power. The best way to do this is to start with securities you suspect may be cointegrated and perform a statistical test. If you just run statistical tests over all pairs, you’ll fall prey to multiple comparison bias.

A perfect positive correlation is when one variable moves in either an upward or downward direction and the other variable also moves in the same direction with the same magnitude. The following figure shows the number of members in each cluster, demontrating the fact that a huge proportion of the stocks are bunched into a single cluster. Both individuals and organizations that work with arXivLabs have https://trading-market.org/ embraced and accepted our values of openness, community, excellence, and user data privacy. ArXiv is committed to these values and only works with partners that adhere to them. AlgoTrading101 is an Investopedia-recommended online algorithmic trading course with over 30,000 members. To track our PnL, we will continue to monitor incoming WebSocket data and use the following formula to calculate our PnL.

Example of a Pairs Trade with Stocks

This means that when one stock becomes overvalued compared to the other, the pair trader sells the overvalued stock and buys the undervalued one, anticipating that the prices will eventually converge. As pairs trading relies significantly on mathematical data, it can be said that there is a need for both fundamental and technical analysis​. Whereas some traders rely on using P/E ratios to measure correlation between securities, others choose https://investmentsanalysis.info/ to analyse technical price charts and graphs​ to find their price ratios. Within these, you can define the standard deviation between the mean price ratios and their standard deviations, giving you an indication of profit or loss. Using these technical charts can also help to determine the difference between correlation and cointegration. Pairs trading cointegration is very similar but the price ratio will usually vary around a mean.

Certain assets diverge during certain hours and converge during other hours. Instead of just looking at 2 assets, look at what https://forex-world.net/ leads those assets. If you notice that the deviations are say, 3%, then you can use maybe 5% as your entry and exit points.


We only need the last 2 lines of our data_df DataFrame that show yesterday’s closing price and the current prices. If the current absolute spread is larger than the maximum divergence determined earlier on, we can enter into a trade. But it’s not unusual to see the relationship between two assets suddenly change. But as of the summer of 2019, they’ve had a positive correlation. Both assets appear to move in tandem for the most part but diverge from time to time. We will be looking to make trades to take advantage of these price inefficiencies in anticipation of a reversion to the mean.

pair trading strategies

By trading pairs such as gold or silver over the Dow Industrials or other popular indices, you can try to take advantage of these changing trends. Our trading platform is particularly useful when carrying out futures or forwards pairs trading​, as there are tools that allow you the option to ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ the securities in your basket. Pairs trading involves the simultaneous trade of two correlated securities. Some securities tend to move in the same direction, even if the percentage changes are different. But sometimes the correlation between the two related securities gets out of whack, especially to an extreme level. That could signal a potential opportunity for a pairs trade, which aims to take advantage of the (presumably temporary) gap.

Mitigate Potential Losses and Risks

The idea here is that if the Beta between two stocks is different, it would make sense to have a larger weight in the lower Beta stock and smaller weight in the higher Beta stock. If the goal is to match Beta’s, this should be taken into account when choosing the right assets for the pairs trade and the method to make spread calculations. Over time, the relative valuation of physical assets tend to change, including precious metals, agricultural commodities and financial assets such as stocks and bonds.

pair trading strategies

In this paper, we consider optimal pairs trading strategies in terms of static optimality and dynamic optimality under mean–variance criterion. The spread of the entity pairs is assumed to be mean-reverting and follows an Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process. Both solutions for static and dynamic optimal pairs trading problems are derived and discussed. We show that the “static and dynamic optimality” is a viable approach to the time-inconsistent control problem. Furthermore, numerical experiments are presented to demonstrate the performance of the optimal pairs trading strategies. To find such pairs, we performed ADF test (or Augmented Dicky Fuller Test) to every pairs in each clusters to find cointegrated pairs.

Dimensionality Reduction using Principal Component Analysis

The answer to that depends on the optimization and walk-forward windows during your initial backtesting of the strategy. If for example the walk-forward window is nine months then the model must be reoptimized after nine months of trading. Considering the risks involved, the statistical arbitrage strategy should have a risk limiting component. Extensive numerical simulations are necessary to derive to the optimal stop loss in case our two assets do not return to equilibrium pricing after a certain time period. There are many more advanced technical strategies that you can incorporate within your pairs trading strategy to get the best results.

Al-Yahyaee et al. found that Bitcoin’s inefficiency is higher than stocks or forex markets, indicating that trading might have an even greater potential to be profitable here than elsewhere. However, the main limitation for crypto traders today is that only a few of the top traded coins are available for short-selling, and not all exchanges provide you with the option to do so. Additionally, transaction costs from brokers in the form of commissions and spreads can be larger than in more established markets such as equities. Since pairs trading bears its roots in equity markets, it usually serves as the first pick by most traders, this is largely due to the high number of possible combination pairs. However, asset classes such as commodities, forex, or even crypto have numerous supporting studies on the profitability of statistical arbitrage. Some have been around since 1990, as is the case for commodities futures; some are more recent, like crypto markets, however, they all support the universality of statistical arbitrage.

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