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Publication# Asian option pricing with orthogonal polynomials

Abstract

In this paper we derive a series expansion for the price of a continuously sampled arithmetic Asian option in the Black-Scholes setting. The expansion is based on polynomials that are orthogonal with respect to the log-normal distribution. All terms in the series are fully explicit and no numerical integration nor any special functions are involved. We provide sufficient conditions to guarantee convergence of the series. The moment indeterminacy of the log-normal distribution introduces an asymptotic bias in the series, however we show numerically that the bias can safely be ignored in practice.

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Black–Scholes model

The Black–Scholes ˌblæk_ˈʃoʊlz or Black–Scholes–Merton model is a mathematical model for the dynamics of a financial market containing derivative investment instruments, using various underlying assumptions. From the parabolic partial differential equation in the model, known as the Black–Scholes equation, one can deduce the Black–Scholes formula, which gives a theoretical estimate of the price of European-style options and shows that the option has a unique price given the risk of the security and its expected return (instead replacing the security's expected return with the risk-neutral rate).

Normal distribution

In statistics, a normal distribution or Gaussian distribution is a type of continuous probability distribution for a real-valued random variable. The general form of its probability density function is The parameter is the mean or expectation of the distribution (and also its median and mode), while the parameter is its standard deviation. The variance of the distribution is . A random variable with a Gaussian distribution is said to be normally distributed, and is called a normal deviate.

Asian option

An Asian option (or average value option) is a special type of option contract. For Asian options, the payoff is determined by the average underlying price over some pre-set period of time. This is different from the case of the usual European option and American option, where the payoff of the option contract depends on the price of the underlying instrument at exercise; Asian options are thus one of the basic forms of exotic options.

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This thesis studies the valuation and hedging of financial derivatives, which is fundamental for trading and risk-management operations in financial institutions. The three chapters in this thesis dea