CHAPTER 5 Determination of Forward and Futures PricesPractice Questions Problem 5.1.Explain what happens when an investor shorts a certain share.The investor’s broker borrows the shares from another client’s account and sells them in the usual way. To close out the position, the investor must purchase the shares. The broker then replaces them in the account of the client from whom they were borrowed. The party with the short position must remit to the broker dividends and other income paid on the shares. The broker transfers these funds to the account of the client from whom the shares were borrowed. Occasionally the broker runs out of places from which to borrow the shares. The investor is then short squeezed and has to close out the position immediately. Problem 5.2.What is the difference between the forward price and the value of a forward contract?The forward price of an asset today is the price at which you would agree to buy or sell the asset at a future time. The value of a forward contract is zero when you first enter into it. As time passes the underlying asset price changes and the value of the contract may become positive or negative. Problem 5.3.Suppose that you enter into a six-month forward contract on a non-dividend-paying stock when the stock price is $30 and the risk-free interest rate (with continuous compounding) is 12% per annum. What is the forward price?The forward price is 0 12 0 530$31 86eProblem 5.4.A stock index currently stands at 350. The risk-free interest rate is 8% per annum (with continuous compounding) and the dividend yield on the index is 4% per annum. What should the futures price for a four-month contract be?The futures price is (0 08 0 04) 0 3333350$354 7eProblem 5.5.Explain carefully why the futures price of gold can be calculated from its spot price and other observable variables whereas the futures price of copper cannot.Gold is an investment asset. If the futures price is too high, investors will find it profitable to increase their holdings of gold and short futures contracts. If the futures price is too low, they
will find it profitable to decrease their holdings of gold and go long in the futures market. Copper is a consumption asset. If the futures price is too high, a strategy of buy copper and short futures works. However, because investors do not in general hold the asset, the strategy of sell copper and buy futures is not available to them. There is therefore an upper bound, but no lower bound, to the futures price. Problem 5.6.Explain carefully the meaning of the terms convenience yield and cost of carry. What is the relationship between futures price, spot price, convenience yield, and cost of carry?Convenience yieldmeasures the extent to which there are benefits obtained from ownership of the physical asset that are not obtained by owners of long futures contracts. The cost of carryis the interest cost plus storage cost less the income earned. The futures price, 0F, and spot price, 0S, are related by ()00c y TFS ewhere cis the cost of carry, y
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