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Title: On the profitability of technical trading
Author: Watson, Toby Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2676 9213
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2009
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The sole use of price and related summary statistics in a technical trading strategy is an anathema to weak-form market efficiency. In practice, however, traders actively use technical analysis to make investment decisions which makes this an important, but often neglected, area for study. This thesis includes four empirical chapters, which provide important evidence on the profitability of technical trading. The results from the detailed analysis undertaken in this thesis have broad relevance to both academics and those in the investment community. Existing research has been predominantly confined to evaluating basic technical trading rules, such as moving averages. Crucially, this ignores chart patterns. Widely employed by practitioners, such patterns form a vital part of technical analysis. As the most important price pattern, the head and shoulders pattern is subjected to detailed and thorough examination in this thesis. A significant contribution is made by evaluating formations recognised and used by traders, in sharp contrast to limited existing studies. Furthermore, a new method is developed to establish how quickly profits from a head and shoulders strategy decay, which has important implications for traders. Existing research has identified both reversal and relative strength effects in financial asset returns. A key separator between these two findings is the formation and holding time over which portfolios of winners and losers are evaluated. Motivated by this, a very large sample of ultra high-frequency data is used to investigate intraday momentum and reversal effects. As well as being an important contribution to research in this field, the results are, once again, of relevance to practitioners. The need for further research into technical analysis is clearly demonstrated by point and figure charting. Whilst traders have made consistent use of the technique for around a century, the amount of existing research is extremely small. Point and figure has attractive data filtering properties, clear trading rules and is particularly suited to intraday technical analysis. Again, using a very large sample of high-frequency data, a detailed evaluation of the profitability of a point and figure trading strategy is undertaken.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available