City Research Online

Exchange Rates and Sovereign Risk

Della Corte, P., Sarno, L., Schmeling, M. & Wagner, C. (2013). Exchange Rates and Sovereign Risk. SSRN.


We empirically investigate the relation between currency excess returns and sovereign risk, as measured by credit default swap (CDS) spreads. An increase in a country’s CDS spread is accompanied by a contemporaneous depreciation of its exchange rate as well as an increase of its currency volatility and crash risk. The link between currency excess returns and sovereign risk is mainly driven by exposure to global sovereign risk shocks and also emerges in a predictive setting for currency risk premia. Sovereign risk forecasts excess returns to trading exchange rates, volatility and skewness, and is strongly priced in the cross-section of currencies. Moreover, we find that sovereign risk accounts for a large share of carry trade returns, and that carry and momentum strategies generate high (low) returns across countries with high (low) sovereign risk.

Publication Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Publisher Keywords: Exchange rates, currency risk premium, sovereign risk, CDS spreads
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Departments: Bayes Business School > Finance
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