This study examines the behavior of the prices of the first two futures contracts on Japanese stock price indices to be traded, the Nikkei Stock Average (NSA) contract on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX), and the Osaka Stock Futures 50 (OSF50) contract on the Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE). We find significant departures between the actual prices of the contracts and their 'fair' prices in the early months of trading from June 1987 to June 1988. The NSA contract was dominated by discounts of the actual prices in relation to the 'fair' price while the OSF50 contract was characterized by both premiums and discounts during this period. This suggests the viability of 'cross-spreading' strategies which were analyzed and found to be profitable during much of the period under study.
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