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Working Paper

Inferring Term Rates from SOFR Futures Prices


Abstract: The Alternative Reference Rate Committee, a group of private-sector market participants convened by the Federal Reserve, has recommended that markets transition to the use of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) in financial contracts that currently reference US dollar LIBOR. This paper examines the feasibility of using SOFR futures prices to construct forward-looking term reference rates that are conceptually similar to the term LIBOR rates commonly used in loan contracts. We show that futures-implied term SOFR rates have closely tracked federal funds OIS rates over the eight months since SOFR futures began trading. To examine the performance of our approach over a longer time horizon, we compare term rates derived from federal funds futures with observed overnight rates and OIS rates from 2000 to the present. Consistent with prior research, we find that futures-implied term rates accurately predict realized compounded overnight rates during most periods.

Keywords: Interest rates; Futures; Reference rates; Financial contracts; LIBOR; SOFR;

JEL Classification: G12; G18;

https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2019.014

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Authors

Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: Finance and Economics Discussion Series

Publication Date: 2019-03-05

Number: 2019-014

Pages: 24 pages